A local court in Muzaffarnagar has acquitted 11 persons accused of setting a house on fire and robbing valuables during the 2013 riots in Fugana police station area of the district. All the accused were out on bail.
Over 60 people were killed and several were displaced in the riots that broke out on September 7, 2013 in Muzaffarnagar and later spread to adjoining districts.
Anjum Khan, government counsel, Muzaffarnagar, said, “Additional District Judge Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari acquitted 11 accused on Tuesday in a case related to 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots for want of evidence. Three prime witnesses, including complainant in the case, Suleman, and his two sons — Islam and Azam — did not support the prosecution theory and were declared hostile.”
According to government counsel, Suleman of Lisad village got an FIR lodged at Fugana police station on September 16, 2013, saying that on September 7 after the riots broke out, 12 persons of his village entered his house forcibly shouting objectionable slogans. They ransacked the house and escaped with jewellery, cash and household items. Suleman also said that before leaving, the assailants set his house ablaze, the counsel informed.
Fearing for life, Suleman and his family took refuge elsewhere and later shifted to a rescue camp in Kairana area of adjoining Shamli district. Anjum added, while staying in rescue camp, Suleman lodged a complaint against 12 local residents and several unidentified persons under IPC sections, including 395 (dacoity) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, among others).
“Police investigated and filed chargesheet against 12 accused in the case. One of the named accused, Rishidev, died during the trial,” said Anjum.
The Special Investigation Team formed by the state government probed 510 riot cases in Muzaffarnagar and filed chargesheet in 175 cases. The police filed closure report in 165 cases and expunged 170 other cases. Of the total 175 cases chargesheeted, the court has so far acquitted accused in 36 cases.
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