The Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission has indicted former BSP MP Kadir Rana and BJP MLA Sangeet Som for making provocative speeches and circulating a fake video clip respectively that led to the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar.
Besides Som, 229 others have also been indicted for sharing a ‘video clip’ that claimed to show the murder of Sachin and Gaurav in Muzaffarnagar. It was later found that the incident shown in the video clip had no connection with the killings in Muzaffarnagar.
Nine other Muslim leaders indicted for making provocative speeches include former Congress minister Saeedulzaman, BSP MLAs Noor Saleem alias Pappu Raja and Maulana Jameel and Muslim leaders Salman Saeed, Sultan Nasir, Naushad Quereshi, Maulana Musarraf, Ahsan Quereshi and Asad Zaman.
The commission, however, noted that since an FIR has been filed against Som and 229 others, the state government could not take further penal action against them on the basis of its report because Article 20 (2) of the Constitution of India clearly provides that no person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.
“It is true that on the basis of the FIR lodged by SI Subodh Kumar Singh under sections 153A/420/120B of the IPC and section 66A of the IT Act, a case was registered against Sangeet Som and 229 others, who had shared the said video clip but in my view, till the case arising out of the said CR (police case) is decided, the averments in the FIR of the said CR would only remain an allegation. I am further of the view that since an FIR has been lodged against Sangeet Som and 229 others it would not be open for state government to take further penal action.”
On the speeches of Muslim leaders, the commission noted that the leaders were giving “provocative speeches against Hindus, which were adversely affecting communal harmony and inciting the Muslims against the Hindus. Prima facie, it appears that the speeches of the aforesaid persons were one of the causes for the subsequent communal riots.”
About the provocative speeches made by the Hindus and Jat leaders in the Maha Panchayat held in Nagla Mandaur on September 7, 2013, the commission observed that a doubt may arise in the minds of people as to why it was not holding them responsible.
“Answer to the said doubt is to be found in the evidence of RM Srivastava, principal secretary (home) government of UP, who stated in cross examination that the failure to record these provocative speeches was an administrative failure.”