Police have lodged an FIR against Congress leader and former MLA Imran Masood and Samajwadi Party MLC Umar Ali Khan for allegedly inciting the riots and indulging in arson during communal clashes in Saharanpur on July 26. Umar Ali Khan is son-in-law of Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari.
Three persons were killed while over two dozen suffered injuries in these clashes. According to the police, the FIR was lodged against Masood and Khan after one Harcharan Singh Jung lodged a complaint at Kutubsher police station.
Jung, whose son had suffered gunshot wound in the firing during the riots, alleged that Masood and Khan had incited people to indulge in violence before the clashes broke out. Acting on the complaint, the police booked the two accused under IPC sections related to rioting and arson on July 29.
When contacted, Masood blamed the BJP and the SP for hatching a conspiracy against him after his “good performance” in the Lok Sabha elections and that it was BJP leaders who had provoked the rioters.
“Raghav Lakhan Pal (Saharanpur MP) is the one who provoked the people before riots. Now, the BJP is trying to frame me. I was present where the clashes started and I tried to pacify the people but when things went out of control, I left. The police have the clips of all my activity there,” Masood told The Indian Express over phone.
He said UP Minister Rajendra Singh Rana was also attempting to frame him as he had put a very good show in the minister’s Deoband assembly segment in the Lok Sabha elections.
SP MLC Umar Ali Khan, on the other hand, said while he was present at the time of clashes, he had only tried to pacify the people.
“All those who were involved in violence have already been arrested. Now, some people are trying to disturb the harmony keeping in mind the assembly by-elections,” Khan said and claimed that the complainant, Jung, is a BJP leader.
Saharanpur SSP Rajesh Pandey said the main FIR was lodged by Kutubsher station house officer and it did not say anything about Masood and Khan. “It says they were present there to talk to people. Now, these subsequent FIRs have been lodged by people who suffered loss in the riots,” he said.
Acting in-charge of Kutubsher police station B P Singh said FIRs have been lodged from both sides.
He said some BJP leaders, including party’s Saharanpur city president Hemant Arora, have also been booked for rioting. Arora also denied the allegations. He said he was present with police and administration officials and only tried to avert the clashes by pacifying the people.
In Lucknow, IG (Law and Order) Amrendra Sengar said as many as 227 cases have been lodged in connection with the clashes in Saharanpur and there is nothing conclusive in the probe of this case so far, lodged against Masood and Khan.