A Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government has chargesheeted at least 225 people so far in connection with the riots in Muzaffarnagar and neighbouring areas, the police said on Wednesday.
An army trooper during a flag march in the curfew-hit areas in Muzaffarnagar. Army was deployed in the area after intense communal clashes on Saturday. (PTI Photo)
The SIT has chargesheeted 225 people in 28 riot cases so far while 28 complainants in other cases could not be traced, said Manoj Jha, SIT additional superintendent of police. Final reports in nine cases have been submitted before a local court due to lack of evidence, he added.
The SIT has sent a list of 522 accused in different riot cases and asked the local police to arrest them. Arrest warrants against 89 accused in 48 murder cases have been issued by the court while proceedings against three accused have been initiated, Jha said.
Violence erupted in Muzaffarnagar district in western Uttar Pradesh on August 27 after the killing of three youths. It flared up on September 7 after a clash between two communities following a mahapanchayat (meeting of village councils) convened over the killings. According to official statistics, 61 people died in the riots and more than 50,000 were forced to flee their homes and take shelter in relief camps.
SIT sources, however, said that not even one of the 27 accused in six rape cases has been arrested so far. The police had claimed women were raped and molested by the rioters. The investigating team has reportedly recorded statements of all the six victims.
The sources also said that no accused has been identified yet in the killing of journalist Rajesh Verma, who was shot dead while covering the riots. SIT is investigating a total of 571 cases in which 6,386 people were named, including 538 cases of Muzaffarnagar, 27 of Shamli, two of Baghpat, one of Meerut and Saharanpur each.