The Uttar Pradesh government has directed the Muzaffarnagar district administration to withdraw 18 cases related to the 2013 riots in the region. At least 60 people were killed in the riots.
The Adityanath-led government issued the order a year after it sought the opinion of the district administration on 131 riot cases, The Indian Express reported on Monday. As many as 89 of these cases were pending in court in January 2018, the month in which the state had sought the opinion of the district administration.
“Three days ago [Thursday], I received withdrawal application in 18 cases of Muzaffarnagar riots from the state law department,” Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Rajeev Sharma said on Sunday. “It will soon be sent to court after examining of records.”
He said the cases were related to rioting, the Arms Act and charges of dacoity. Sharma said none of the accused in these cases are politicians.
Last August, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sanjeev Balyan, who is accused of inciting the riots, had claimed that district administrations never want cases to be withdrawn but the Uttar Pradesh government will take the final decision on such matters. Balyan was responding to reports that said Rajeev Sharma had told the state that he is against withdrawing cases against BJP leaders accused of inciting riots.
BJP legislator Sangeet Som, who is also accused of inciting riots, had said: “Cases which are genuine will not be withdrawn. Certainly, a few cases will be genuine. Those cases which are fake will be withdrawn.”