BJP MP from Muzaffarnagar Sanjeev Balyan and the party’s MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som said on Sunday that “fake cases” lodged in connection with the 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli will be withdrawn. This comes after the BJP-led state government sought the district administration’s opinion on a proposal to withdraw 133 cases related to the 2013 riots and the administration reportedly opposed such a move.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of the BJP’s UP state executive meeting in Meerut on Sunday, Som said, “Cases which are genuine will not be withdrawn. Certainly, few cases will be genuine. Those cases which are fake will be withdrawn.”
Balyan said that whenever such reports are sought, the administration never gives a report in favour to withdraw cases, but the government takes the final decision. “I want the cases should be withdrawn. Request was made to withdraw fake cases of arson lodged by police,” Balyan said. He said a case lodged against him was also fake, but added that he does not want its withdrawal because he is capable of fighting it legally. “I will get justice from the court,” he said.
Six months after the state government sought its opinion on the matter, the district administration is learnt to have opposed the withdrawal of cases. Sources said that in separate replies sent last week, the district magistrate, senior superintendent of police and the prosecuting officer said they were not in favour of withdrawing these cases and cited “administrative reasons”.
Of the 133 cases, 89 are pending in court. The pending cases include those related to hate speech, murder, attempt to murder, arson and dacoity. Among the accused are local BJP MP Balyan, BJP MLAs Suresh Rana and Sangeet Som and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi.
On January 17 this year, the state’s law department had sent a letter to the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate, seeking details of two cases of hate speech against Sadhvi Prachi, BJP MP from Bijnor, Kunwar Bharatendra Singh, local BJP MP Balyan, and BJP MLAs Umesh Malik, Sangeet Singh Som and Suresh Rana. The cases were related to mahapanchayats held in the district on August 31, 2013 and September 7, 2013, before the violence broke out.
In a second letter on February 23, the state law department sought details of 131 cases related to the riots. The government attached eight pages with details of FIRs, name of the district and police station where the cases were lodged, and IPC sections. The district magistrate, SSP and prosecuting officer were asked to give separate opinions on withdrawal of these cases. Sources said the government began the process after a delegation of khap leaders from Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, led by Balyan and Umesh Malik, met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath with a list of 179 riot cases.