Muzaffarnagar riots: Charges to be framed against ex-UP minister, 9 others
In the Muzaffarnagar riots case, charges are expected to be framed on Friday against former Uttar Pradesh minister Saeeduzama and nine others who were accused of inciting communal tensions through inflammatory speeches in 2013. On Tuesday, a local court fixed the date for framing of charges as September 24 after eight of the nine accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots case – which includes the former UP minister, ex-MLA Kadir Rana, and ex-MLA Maulana Jameel – appeared before it.
The clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh in the fall of 2013 had resulted in more than 60 deaths and the displacement of over 40,000 people. The riot, which has been described as “the worst violence in Uttar Pradesh in recent history” also saw the Indian Army deployed in the state for the first time in two decades to bring the law and order situation under control.
As many as 98 individual cases of riots have been decided so far; however, more than 1,100 people have been acquitted due to a lack of solid evidence. On Monday, a local court in Muzaffarnagar acquitted 20 more accused persons, noting that the prosecution had failed to provide incriminatory evidence against them. The prosecution, for its part, said that charges were filed against 21 persons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by a special investigation team (SIT) probing the Muzaffarnagar riots case. The charge sheet related to the alleged burning down of several houses and instances of loot at the Kutbi village in the district during the riots. However, most of the accused were acquitted due to the lack of direct evidence linking them to the incident.
According to reports, as many as 510 cases have been registered by the police so far in relation to the Muzaffarnagar riots, while 1,480 people have been arrested. The special investigation team probing the separate incidents has till now filed charge sheets in 175 individual cases.