MORE than two years after western Uttar Pradesh was singed by communal riots, which saw 63 people dead and over 40,000 displaced, there is no conclusion in sight for at least nine cases involving the killing of 24 people, all Muslims.
One of the pending cases include an FIR registered for falsely linking a video circulated on social media with the incident in Kawaal village on August 27, 2013 where two youths from Jat community — Sachin Singh and Gaurav Singh— were allegedly lynched soon after the murder of one Shahnawaj.
In its report tabled in UP Assembly on Sunday, the one-man Justice (retd) Vishnu Sahai inquiry commission has blamed the video as one of the key triggers for the riots. BJP MLA from Meerut’s Sardhana seat, Sangeet Singh Som, one Shivam Kumar and 229 unidentified persons are accused in the case registered at Kotwali police station in Muzaffarnagar.
The pending cases, involving the killing of 24 Muslims, were among the 567 others registered soon after the riots broke out in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts in September 2013. Apart from Muzaffarnagar, the cases pertaining to riot-related offences were also registered in Shamli, Baghpat, Meerut and Saharanpur districts. Around 6,000 people were made accused in the cases.
The special investigation cell (SIC), formed by the UP government to investigate into the cases, found that in some cases more than one FIR was registered. The police clubbed those FIRs. The SIC finally conducted investigation in 511 FIRs and filed closure report in 159 while expunging 169. The SIC has filed chargesheet against 1,470 (both Hindus and Muslims) persons in 174 FIRs whose investigation has been completed.
The SIC, however, is yet to complete the probe into the cases involving 24 murders —- the figure making up for nearly one-third of the total number of deaths during riots. Of the 24 victims, bodies of 11, both male and female, are yet to be traced.
The pending nine cases were lodged at different police stations of Muzaffarnagar, including seven at Fugana police station and one at city Kotwali police station. One case was filed at Kotwali police station in Shamli.
Additional SP, Muzaffarnagar, Vinod Kumar Pandey, who is currently supervising the SIC investigations, said they were trying to complete the investigations in the pending cases soon.
An investigating officer of the SIC said that they were facing trouble in completing the probe into the cases related to murders of 11 persons as their bodies could not be traced despite applying all procedures. Details of the victims were sent to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in Delhi and State Crime Record Bureau (SCRB) in Lucknow, but failed to yield any clues, he added.
While there still is a dispute on exact cause of the riots, it is alleged that a girl from the Jat community was allegedly eve teased by a Muslim youth Shahnawaz Qureshi in Kawaal village. In retaliation, two relatives of the girl, Sachin and Gaurav, killed Qureshi on August 27, 2013. The brothers were lynched by a Muslim mob while trying to escape.
The riots began few days later on September 7, when people returning from a mahapanchayat were attacked leading to deaths. The violence later spread to others areas in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts.
Here are the pending cases:
On September 24, 2013, Shaheed Hasan of Lisaad village, got an FIR lodged at Fugana police station against 49 Hindus accusing them of attacking and killing his father Sirajuddin, mother Hameedan and three of his neighbours Umardeen, Kareemuddin and Wakeela on September 8, 2013. Shaheed Hasan had also accused them of disposing the bodies.
STATUS: During investigation, Shivpal and Rohtas were arrested on October 4, 2013. Both are out on bail. Bodies are yet to be traced.
Yameen of Lisaad village had named 59 Hindus in a case lodged at Fugana police station for allegedly killing his father Hakeemuddin and grandmother Chhoti on September 8, 2013. He had also accused the assailants of disposing of the bodies.
STATUS: No arrest made so far, bodies are yet to be traced.
Five Hindus were booked for killing Naseeruddin at his house at Lisaad village on September 8, 2013. The complaint was lodged by Naseeruddin’s son Haneef at Fugana police station.
SATUS: Naseeruddin’s body yet to be traced. No arrests made so far.
Abdul Hafeez of Lisaad village filed a case naming 41 Hindus along with several unidentified persons for killing 13 Muslims on September 8.
STATUS: SIC says investigation completed in murder cases, but probe is pending on other charges including rioting, house trespass, dacoity, mischief by fire with intent to destroy house. The case is pending as there are no witnesses to these offences and probe found that Hafeez was not present in the village when the incident occurred.
Dilshad of Lisaad village filed a case accusing 22 Hindus (all named) and several unidentified persons for allegedly killing his father Haji Nabbu on September 8 at their house. The case was logged at Fugana police station.
STATUS: The victim’s body has not been traced so far. No one has been arrested.
Fugana police had lodged an FIR against 22 Hindus for killing one Shakeel at his house at Bahadi village on September 8 on a complaint by his son Dilshad. The latter had alleged the rioters had burnt his father’s body after killing him. A day later, a charred body was found two kilometres away from Shakeel’s house and Dilshad had claimed it to be of his father. The police got DNA test done and the body was found to be that of a woman.
STATUS: Shakeel’s body is yet to be traced, no arrests have been made.
One Rajeev Yadav, a Rihai Manch activist, had got an FIR lodged against three persons, including gram pradhan, of killing and hanging body of one Mehrudeen at Doongar village on September 8. Body was found hanging in a cattle shed belonging to Jat community. The FIR was filed at Fugana police station.
STATUS: Autopsy not conducted even after two years as district magistrate has yet to give permission for exhuming the body. The SIC officials say the permission is not being given fearing it could flare up communal tension.
An FIR against BJP MLA from Sardhana constituency in Meerut Sangeet Som,Shivam Kumar and 229 other unidentified people was lodged for sharing a controversial video on Facebook flaring up communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. The case was filed at the City Kotwali police station. The video showed some people thrashing two youths and was circulated claiming it to be that of Sachin and Gaurav who were killed at Kawaal village on August 27, 2013. Shivam was found to have uploaded the video from YouTube. Sangeet Som had shared and forwarded it. Shivam, who is yet to be traced, had removed all details from his Facebook account.
STATUS: Police had sent a letter through CBI — a nodal agency for interpol — to Facebook headquarters seeking details of accounts of Sangeet Som and Shivam Kumar. The details include Facebook account creation IP, login IP, logout IP with time and date, log details and telephone number and other details of both persons.
Report is still awaited. On May 28 last year, a discussion with representatives of the Facebook in USA had taken place at CBI, Delhi with UP police officials.
Almost two years after the violence, an FIR was lodged against 12 Muslims for allegedly attacking a Dalit family during communal riots in Shamli on September 3, 2013. The case was registered on direction of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at Kotwali police station in Shamli district on September 5, 2015 by one Shevati Devi, a resident of Nandu Prasad area in Shamli.
STATUS: Investigation in the case is still pending.