An Uttar Pradesh court on Tuesday sentenced Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Vikram Saini and 11 others to two years in prison in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, ANI reported. He was, however, granted bail soon after the hearing.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convicts. Fifteen accused in the case were acquitted due to lack of evidence, according to Jansatta.
Saini and the others were accused of participating in the violence that broke out in the district’s Kawaal village after the final rites of two cousins – Sachin and Gaurav – who were allegedly lynched by a group of Muslims in August 2013, according to The Indian Express. The cousins were accused of killing another Muslim man – Shahnawaz Qureshi – in the village.
Saini, who was the village head at the time, was accused of instigating the crowd which took part in the final rites of the cousins, according to the newspaper.
The deaths in the village had triggered communal violence in the district, in which 65 persons were killed and thousands of Muslim families were displaced. There were also several reports of sexual assault and abuse in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.