A local court in Muzaffarnagar has declared six absconding men accused in a 2013 murder case in the district, which was one of the triggers for the riots that year, as proclaimed offenders and issued notices, asking them to appear before court within a month or their properties will be attached.
Shahnawaz was murdered in Muzaffarnagar’s Kawal town on August 27, 2013.
Within minutes, two Jat youths named Gaurav and Sachin, who the police later said were the main accused in Shahnawaz’s murder, were lynched by villagers. The murders later led to widespread communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts, leaving 62 people dead and more than 60,000 displaced.
Gaurav’s father and five other relatives were named in Shahnawaz’s murder case.
The accused were issued notices and warrants last year to appear before the court but they did not. The police recently submitted before court that all the accused are untraceable.
The court will hear the matter next on April 16.
In February this year, a Muzaffarnagar court had awarded life sentences to seven people accused in the murder of Sachin and Gaurav. All seven convicts are in jail.
Earlier, in 2015, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the riots cases filed a closure report in Shahnawaz’s murder case and gave clean chits to all six accused – Gaurav’s father Ravinder and neighbours and relatives, identified as Prahlad, Bishan, Devender, Jitender and Yogender. The SIT’s report stated that Sachin and Gaurav, before they were lynched by a mob in Kawal, had murdered Shahnawaz, and that the six accused were not found involved in the incident.