Sangeet Som, the BJP legislator from Sardhana in Meerut accused of involvement in the Muzaffarnagar riots, on Tuesday claimed he was denied a visa to Australia because of his alleged involvement in the communal disturbance.
“Muzaffarnagar se mujhe bahut lagav hai, jiski wajah se puri duniya main itni charcha mein aa gaya hoon ki koi bhi desh mujhe visa dene ko tayyar nahi hai (I love Muzaffarnagar very much. This is why I have become a known figure in the world to the extent that no country is willing to give me a visa),” the BJP MLA said at a meeting of the Chemists and Druggists Welfare Association in Muzaffarnagar Tuesday.
“I applied for a visa to visit Australia but was denied on the plea that cases are pending against me. I had applied for the visa… in 2015 but could not get through. After that I dropped the idea of going out of our country,” Som told The Indian Express over phone.
He pointed out that before the Muzaffarnagar riots, he had visited Australia, the US and Singapore and was never denied a visa to these countries but since the riots and, with “my name cropping up, I have been facing this problem”. Som in his affidavit to the Election Commission has said five cases are pending against him. He has not been convicted in any case.
He was arrested in September 2013 after making an alleged inflammatory speech at a mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar on September 29. The National Security Act was invoked against him but he was acquitted of all charges. The communal riots in Muzaffarnagar claimed the lives of 62 people and displaced over 50,000 residents.
At the meeting of Chemists and Druggists Association in Muzaffarnagar, Som assured traders that he will help them if they face extortion demands.