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Ex-union minister meets Yogi, seeks withdrawal of 402 Muzaffarnagar riots cases

Former union minister Sanjeev Balyan met chief minister Yogi Adityanath, seeking withdrawal of 402 cases registered largely against Hindus during the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.

lucknow Updated: Feb 07, 2018 12:33 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Ex-union minister,Yogi Adityanath,Muzaffarnagar riots
The 2013 riots claimed over 60 lives, displaced nearly 50,000 people and shattered the Jat-Muslim unity, altering the political dynamics of western UP.(HT File)

Former union minister Sanjeev Balyan met chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday, seeking withdrawal of 402 cases registered largely against Hindus during the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.

The move comes weeks after Uttar Pradesh government sought information on the possibility of withdrawing nine criminal cases against BJP leaders in these riots in which Balyan too is an accused.

He was accompanied by members of the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli khap during the meeting with Adityanath, who is said to have assured the delegation that he will look into their demands.

Balyan confirmed the meeting. He said the delegation met Adityanath, not over the cases registered against them but against “innocents” by the previous Samajwadi Party government.

Along with 402 cases of arson, Balyan briefed the chief minister about nine other cases registered after riots largely against community women who were charged with preventing the police from carrying out the arrests of the men.

Balyan is the MP from Muzaffarnagar. The 2013 riots claimed over 60 lives, displaced nearly 50,000 people and shattered the Jat-Muslim unity, altering the political dynamics of western UP.

Asked if he thought the government could withdraw cases that are now in the court, Balyan said, “If withdrawal isn’t possible, we will seek re-inquiry as we are convinced that these cases were politically motivated.”

Earlier on January 5, a law department official wrote to the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate, seeking information on 13 points, including whether the cases could be withdrawn in public interest.

The move was preceded by an announcement by chief minister Adityanath that his government will formulate a law providing for withdrawal of around 20,000 cases of political nature registered against leaders, lawmakers and ministers in UP.

A law department official, however, said it was wrong to presume the government had the power to withdraw cases pending with the court.

“There is a process through which the government could request the court, but ultimately it’s up to the courts to take a view,” the official said.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 12:33 IST