Withdrawal of Muzaffarnagar Riots Cases Against BJP Men By Yogi Government Questioned

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The state BJP government plans to withdraw criminal cases against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath terming them as “politically motivated”. — File photo

“The people involved in those riots actually helped BJP to come in power. Riots are BJP’s election campaign. So they have to protect their election campaigners,” said youth activist and JNU research scholar Shehla Rashid.

Ghazanfar Abbas | Caravan Daily

LUCKNOW — The decision of withdrawing 131 criminal cases against BJP men involved in Muzaffarnagar communal riots by Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Government has attracted strong condemnation from several youth and social activists.

Terming the decision as “unjustified”, “discriminatory”, and a “murder of justice” they said that this is a “reward to those criminals” who worked as “election campaigners” for BJP.

Speaking to Caravan Daily, they said that such decisions prove that the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is against rule of law.

 “Yogi Government has again proved that it is against rule of law and basically a government of criminals. Yogi has withdrawn 20,000 cases including those against himself.  A lot of withdrawn cases pertain to riots but they do not include the case against  Chandrashekhar of Bhim army. Those who are fighting for social justice, are being thrown in to prison but people who are involved in riots and spreading poison in society in order to win elections , are being rewarded by this government,” Shehla Rashid, youth activist and JNU research scholar said while commenting on the matter.

“The people involved in those riots actually helped BJP to come in power. Riots are BJP’s election campaign. So they have to protect their election campaigners,” added Shehla.

“Yogi is himself a criminal so what better can we expect from this government?” she further said.

Last week state government initiated the process of withdrawing 131 criminal cases concerning the September 2013 Muzaffarnagar and Shamli communal violence in which at least 62 persons had been killed and over 40,000 had been displaced.

Following the violence, a total of 503 cases were registered against around 1,455 persons by the then Samajwadi Party government. The cases included serious crimes such as murder, attempt to murder, arson and damage of properties and promoting enmity on religious grounds.

The state BJP government also plans to withdraw criminal cases against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath terming them as “politically motivated” while Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party have decided to challenge the withdrawal in court.

Former JNUSU president Mohit Pandey has alleged that by taking this step the BJP is trying to protect criminals. “With the help of those goons, BJP came in power. Now it is necessary for it to protect them. Yogi is giving out a clear message that his government is ready to protect the criminals,” said Mohit who was present in Lucknow along with Shehla.

Talking to Carvan Daily social activist Anil Yadav from Rihai Manch said that, “We should see who are Sanjeev Balyan and Umesh Malik who met Yogi Adityanath to withdraw these cases. On page number 240 of Vishnu Sahayak Commission’s investigation report (2015) it is clearly mentioned that Balyan and Malik both were involved in the riots.”

“So, to withdraw these cases is murder of justice in this democracy,” he said.

Reportedly, a delegation of khap leaders from Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, including BJP MP Sanjiv Balyan and Budhana MLA Umesh Malik, met CM Adityanath in Febraury and gave him a list of 179 cases requesting their withdrawal. Over 850 Hindus had been held accused in those cases.

Balyan and Malik, among other leaders, are accused of making provocative speeches at a mahapanchayat on August 31, 2013, which reportedly triggered the riots.

“Samajwadi party is also responsible because had they taken the right action against culprits, they would have been behind bars,” Anil Yadav said.

Eminent social activist Sandeep Pandey accused BJP government’s decision as discriminatory and unjustified.

“Morally it is unjustified because government is withdrawing cases only against Hindus. How can it discriminate people on the basis of religion? If they have a committed crime, a case should follow and they should be punished. And if they are innocent they will be acquitted,” Sandeep said.

On 21st December 2017 before the Uttar Pradesh Criminal Law (Composition of Offences and Abatement of Trials) (Amendment) Bill was tabled, Adityanath told the Assembly that there were about 20,000 ‘politically-motivated’ cases that had been registered in the state.

He said the amendment to the law would end all such cases. Then government had also started the process to withdrawal of a 1995 case in which CM Adityanath himself along with Shiv Pratap Shukla (now Minister of State for Finance at the Centre), Sheetal Pandey (BJP MLA from Sahajanwa) and ten others were booked for violating prohibitory orders.

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