The Yogi Adityanath government is learnt to be considering withdrawal of a case related to the 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar, and has sought opinion of the district magistrate regarding its status, and asking if withdrawing it would be the right step in public interest. A senior officer posted in Muzaffarnagar confirmed to The Sunday Express that the state government, through the Law Department, had sought details on 13 points in the case, that was registered on August 31, 2013. There is no mention of the leader’s name in the letter, except the serial number of the case.
The officer also confirmed that the state government had sought opinion on eight other criminal cases, lodged against BJP Budhana MLA Umesh Malik in Muzaffarnagar. Malik said he had no knowledge of the latter, and that he had not approached the state government for withdrawal of the cases. Malik also said that the others named in the cases against him include BJP Bijnor MP Bhartendra Singh, former Union minister and local BJP MP Sanjeev Baliyan, and Sadhvi Prachi.
Sources said that the Law Department had sent the letter in the first week of January to the DM. While Muzaffarnagar DM G S Priyadarshi was out on rounds and not available, his PRO said he had heard of such a letter but it hadn’t reached them yet. He said it would probably reach in a day or two.
Harish Chandra, ADM, Muzaffarnagar, also said the same. “No such letter has been received so far. It is possible that it will reach us soon. We will be able to speak on the matter once an official communication is received,” Chandra told The Sunday Express. Muzaffarnagar SSP Anant Deo said he was on leave but that “there was something regarding withdrawal of cases”, and said the SP, City, who was in-charge, would be able to help. SP, City, Omvir Singh, said he hadn’t seen the notice so far.
Baliyan, Bhartendra Singh and Umesh Malik are all facing cases related to Muzaffarnagar riots. One of the cases against them, which also names Sadhvi Prachi, is of making inflammatory speeches at a mahapanchayat on August 31, 2013, which is believed to have been one of the triggers for the riots. The other BJP leaders facing riots cases include BJP MLA from Thana Bhawan, Shamli, and UP minister Suresh Rana, and BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Singh Som. Last year, police filed a closure report in one riot case against Som citing lack of evidence. The 2013 riots had led to 63 deaths, while over 40,000 people had been displaced.