THE MUZAFFARNAGAR police Tuesday arrested five of six accused persons for not appearing in a court hearing in the murder case of one Shahnawaz, who was killed at Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar on August 27, 2013 leading to the killing of two Jat youths the same day. The killings had later triggered large-scale communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts from September 7 that year, leaving 62 people dead and more than 60,000 displaced.
A local court in Muzaffarnagar has been hearing the case and had issued summons and arrest warrants too against the six accused for not attending court proceedings. Last month, the court had issued order for attachment of properties of all the six persons when they did not appear before the court.
“The accused were arrested from their residences in Malikpura. The court had ordered their properties to be attached since they had failed to appear before it. A sixth accused, Ravinder, is absconding and his house will be sealed. The accused were presented before the acting Chief Judicial Magistrate and were sent to judicial custody”, said Mukesh Chandra Mishra, Circle Officer (Jansath).
Shahnawaz was allegedly murdered by two Jat men, identified only as Sachin and Gaurav, the fallout of an alleged “eve-teasing incident.” Within minutes, the two were allegedly lynched by villagers.
Gaurav’s father and five other relatives of the two youths were named in the Shahnawaz murder case.
In 2015, the Special Investigation Team investigating the riots cases had filed a closure report in Shahnawaz’s murder case, claiming that the named accused were not involved in the murder and the two youths who killed him are dead. Shahnawaz’s father, Saleem, had filed a petition challenging the closure report.
The court treated the case as a complaint and recorded statement of witnesses in the case. The court, later, issued summons to all the six persons and when they did not appear, issued non-bailable warrants against them last year, said police.
SHO of Jansath police station, Santosh Kumar Tyagi, said, “Last month, the court issued an order on attachment of their properties. We will approach the court seeking more time to arrest the absconding accused, Ravinder, before implementing the property orders.”
In February this year, a Muzaffarnagar court had awarded life sentences to seven persons accused in the murder of Sachin and Gaurav. All seven convicts are in jail.