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Withdrawal of Muzaffarnagar riot cases key poll plank in Kairana by-election

As many as 6,879 people were named in riot cases but the special investigation team dropped charges against 5,172 people.

india Updated: May 20, 2018 23:21 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Meerut
Kairana bypoll,Kairana by-election,Muzaffarnagar riot cases
By-election to Kairana Lok Sabha constituency will take place on May 28.(HTFIle Photo/Representative image)

Withdrawal of cases pertaining to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots is turning out to be a major poll plank in the Kairana by-election scheduled for May 28. Almost all political parties are promising relief from the numerous false cases registered in the aftermath of the riots.

After Samajwadi Party MLA Nahid Hasan, now Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh has assured people that he would take up the responsibility of withdrawing cases by facilitating dialogue between the affected communities.

He also said that such a step would be possible only if people showed their trust on the methods adopted by his father and former prime minister Charan Singh who “worked tirelessly to strengthen relations among different castes and communities”.

Singh’s remarks are seen by political pundits as an effort to revive the party’s sagging equation with Jats and Muslims.

Kairana has over five lakh Muslims, two lakh Jats and two lakh Dalits. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, a sizeable Jat population had voted for the BJP, resulting in embarrassing defeats for Singh and his son Jayant Choudhary who contested from Baghpat and Mathura, respectively. Now, RLD leaders are trying to win back their traditional vote bank of Jats.

As many as 6,879 people were named in riot cases but the special investigation team dropped charges against 5,172 people.

Responding to the RLD chief’s accusation that the Bharatiya Janata Party was lying to public about withdrawing riot cases, BJP leader and former minister Sanjeev Balyan, himself an accused, said that many of the accused were out on bail. “As many as 1,479 people are out of prison, with the exception of Sansar Singh of Mohammadpur Rai village,” he said Saturday.

Baliyan also claimed that the process of withdrawing 114 cases was underway, and reports from local administrations in 49 cases had already been received.

“Reports were summoned from respective district administrations after a delegation of Khap, led by me, called upon chief minister Adityanath a few months ago,” he said, adding that the BJP wanted the cases withdrawn for “restoration of peace and harmony in the area”.

First Published: May 20, 2018 23:21 IST