The Justice Vishnu Sahay Commission probing the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots has indicted BJP MLA Sangeet Singh Som and other political leaders of the region for their role in the violence that killed 62 people.
In its 775-page report, the commission has also indicted local officials and given suggestions on how to check the recurrence of such incidents in Uttar Pradesh. Though senior officers of the state government remained tight-lipped on the issue, sources said Som’s role had come into question along with that of lower-rung police officers.
“Som and some officers have been indicted for their role,” a senior official said on the condition of anonymity.
Som denied any role in the riots and said the commission worked liked a committee of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government.
“We reject the commission’s report as it did not probe even a single BJP worker. We have sufficient evidence to nail the SP leaders. So, a CBI probe should be conducted,” Som said.
The SP alleged that most of the leaders chargesheeted in the riots were from the BJP and accused the party of defending and even “rewarding” them.
“Most of the leaders who have been chargesheeted and are facing trial for heinous offences in the riots are from BJP,” SP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said. He said his party would take action against any leader found complicit and “will not try to defend them like the BJP”.
The Congress demanded strict action against those who “participated, perpetrated and instigated” riots and are responsible for the killing of innocent people, irrespective of their party affiliations.
“It is a very serious report. It has vindicated what we have been saying from day one,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in Delhi.
BSP supremo Mayawati demanded the report be made public and alleged the SP and BJP colluded in the riots. “Though riots in SP regime are routine, Muzaffarnagar riots showed lax attitude of SP and its connivance with BJP,” she said in a statement.
(With agency inputs)