The Uttar Pradesh government has written to the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police of Muzaffarnagar, seeking their opinion on withdrawing cases against Bharatiya Janata Party leaders accused of inciting riots in the district in 2013, The Times of India reported on Sunday.
The names of the leaders are not mentioned in the letter that Raj Singh, the special secretary in the Department of Justice, wrote on January 5. It cites only the file numbers related to the riot cases, The Hindu reported.
Former Union Minister and Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Baliyan, Bijnor MP Bhartendra Singh, Thana Bhawan MLA and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Sugarcane Development, Sugar Mills, Industrial Development Suresh Rana, Budhana MLA Umesh Malik and Sadhvi Prachi are some of the BJP leaders booked in the riot cases. Baliyan, Singh, Malik and Prachi are accused of making provocative speeches at a mahapanchayat on August 31, 2013, which reportedly triggered the riots.
Malik told The Indian Express that he did not know about the letter, and had not asked the government to withdraw the cases. Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate GS Priyadarshi’s public relations officer said the letter had not reached their office yet.
A local court on December 24, 2017 dismissed non-bailable warrants against Rana, BJP MLA Sangeet Som, and Singh in a riots case. The warrants had been issued on November 15 after the state government approved the decision to prosecute the legislators.
On January 8, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik had approved eight bills, including one that seeks to drop 20,000 “politically motivated” cases filed across the state. One such case was against Chief Minister Adityanath (pictured above). On December 20, 2017, the state government had written to Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela, asking him to withdraw the case filed against Adityanath and 12 others at Gorakhpur’s Pipiganj Police Station on May 27, 1995.