NEW DELHI – Expressing concerns over the acquittals in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots cases, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Sunday demanded the Uttar Pradesh government to challenge the acquittals of Muzaffarnagar riots in the higher courts.
Jamaat chief Syed Sadatuallah Hussaini also raised questions over the trial conducted against the accused in the riots-related cases.
“We want to know why the prosecution never cross-examined police on this and despite acquittals in all the 40 cases why is the Uttar Pradesh government not planning to challenge them in the higher courts. The reason for not pursuing the case and inability to challenge the acquittals cited by the District Government Counsel, Muzaffarnagar seems to be very unconvincing and this attitude of the government will not give a good message to the victims and their families. It is the job of the government to pursue justice to all its citizens irrespective of their caste and creed,” said Hussaini in a press statement.
However, citing the failure of the government to pursue justice for the victims of the devastating riots, Hussaini urged the civil society to come forward to purse justice for them.
The Jamaat chief demanded the UP government to challenge the acquittals in higher courts. “If the UP government does not do so then it will be the responsibility of all justice loving people and organizations to persuade the UP government and pursue all legal options for ensuring that justice is awarded to the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots,” he added.
Detailing about the acquittals, Hussaini said “During the Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) riots in August-September 2013, more than 60 people were killed and over 50,000 displaced. Killings, gang-rapes, rioting and arson took place against Muslims during the riots. 40 cases went to trial related to these incidents. Of those 40 cases, four were related to gang-rapes, ten were related to murders and 26 pertaining to rioting. The trials of these cases commenced when the Samajwadi Party was in power in Uttar Pradesh and went on for the next few years till the current BJP term. An investigation by the media reveals that between January 2017 and February 2019, all accused (168 people) in the 40 cases have been acquitted by the local court”.
He continued “The reasons given by the judiciary for those acquittals are as follows: Five prosecution witnesses did a U-turn in court and testified that they were not present when their relatives were murdered — while the FIRs mentioned otherwise.Six prosecution witnesses turned hostile and deposed that police forced them to sign blank papers. Police did not produce murder weapons in court in five cases”.