The police lodged an FIR against 12 Muslims on Saturday for allegedly attacking a Dalit family during communal riots that took place in Muzaffarnagar’s Shamli area on September 3, 2013. The case has been lodged following a direction from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
After the case was registered, on Sunday evening, the accused named in the FIR allegedly threatened the Dalit family with dire consequences if they did not withdraw the case. The accused have been booked on charges like attempt to murder, rioting and under SC/ST Act.
When contacted, Circle Officer (City) Nishant Sharma said: “Wife of one of the accused named in the FIR visited the family and asked them to come to a compromise, as the issue was over… PAC personnel, who have been deployed in the area, have been asked to ensure the family’s security.”
Kotwali SHO D P Singh confirmed that the case — registered on a complaint by Shevati Devi, a resident of Nandu Prasad area in Shamli — was filed on NHRC’s direction. It will be transferred to the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) formed by the state government to probe cases related to the 2013 riots.
Shevati Devi’s son Jitendra Chandra told The Indian Express that the incident took place on September 3, 2013, when he was out on work. His mother, wife Leena and their five children and the wife of his younger brother Vijendra Chandra were present at the house.
“The assailants, carrying firearms and sharp-edged weapons, targeted houses owned by Dalits. When they started breaking the main door of my house, my family escaped using the rear door. The rioters came inside and torched household items. They also took away appliances and other valuables, which I had bought for the wedding of my younger sister,” alleged Chandra, who is employed with the Shamli Municipal Board.
He added: “We took shelter at our relative’s house in Shamli. When situation became normal, I went to the local police station and filed a complaint. Senior police officers visited my house but no FIR was lodged. We sent representations to different authorities, including NHRC, the chief minister office, home secretary and the DGP requesting that the police be asked to register a case.”
Claiming that his family returned home after six months, Chandra said: “On Sunday, the accused reached my house and threatened my family. I have informed the police about the threat.”
Chandra is also an accused in a riot case. A Muslim man, identified as Ehsaan, was killed in violence in September, 2013 in Shamli. Chandra, along with others, were named as accused in the case.
“After the police started raiding my house, I surrendered before the court, which sent me to jail. I was in jail for around two months and was later granted bail. I was falsely implicated in the case,” Jitendra claimed.