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ON a table in the Home department of the Yogi Adityanath Government sits a request from the state police — hanging fire for two years — seeking sanction to prosecute a case where Yogi Adityanath is an accused along with four others including party MLA from Gorakhpur Radhamohan Das Agarwal and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Shiv Pratap Shukla. The sanction is needed to file a chargesheet against them under IPC Section 153-A on the charge of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and caste.
The application by the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) of the UP Police seeking sanction was first submitted to the Akhilesh Yadav Government in 2015.
The case pertains to communal violence on January 27, 2007 in Gorakhpur and nearby districts after some young men, the previous night, had allegedly misbehaved with young women of a music troupe called to perform at a wedding at the local DAV college ground. The men were chased away but, police said, they mingled with a Muharram procession which was passing by.
There was firing from one side which injured some in the Muharram procession. During a subsequent clash between two groups, one Raj Kumar Agrahari succumbed to injuries.
Parvez Parwaz, 62, a former Gorakhpur journalist and activist, moved to file an FIR but the police refused. It was only after intervention of the High Court on September 26, 2008, that he was able to file an FIR at the Cantonment police station.
According to the FIR, Adityanath delivered speeches seeking “revenge” for the death of the Hindu youth in a clash. Parwas claimed to have videos of these speeches, which according to him were delivered despite a curfew. It was also alleged that present with Adityanath were Agarwal, former Mayor Anju Chaudhary, former BJP MLC YD Singh and Shukla.
Parwaz alleged that the violence in Gorakhpur that lasted for about a fortnight was incited by these leaders.
In December 2008, Anju Chaudhary approached the Supreme Court challenging Parwaz’s FIR and the court stayed proceedings in the case. The hearing continued and in December 2012, the apex court found the High Court judgment regarding the FIR appropriate and allowed the investigation to proceed. In the meantime, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government had come to power and the case was transferred to the CB-CID in 2013.
“To restore the case, we filed an application in the Allahabad High Court in 2015. Before taking the restoration application, the court asked the government about the status of the case and in the affidavit filed by the Government on February 20, 2017, it is said that CB-CID has already sought prosecution sanction but it is pending at the level of the state government,” said Parwaz’s counsel Farman Naqvi.
In its order on March 10, 2017, a bench of the Allahabad High Court, headed by Justice Krishna Pratap Singh and Justice Ramesh Sinha, observed that Naqvi has stated that he has received an affidavit from the state that sanction to prosecute is still awaited. The state government was asked to apprise the court of the details of the affidavit.
When contacted, CB-CID inspector Chandra Bhushan Upadhyaya who investigated the case and sought prosecution sanction against five accused including Adityanath said: “I had completed the investigation in 2015. I had submitted a report to the CB-CID Headquarters in Lucknow seeking prosecutrion sanction to file the chargesheet against five accused including Yogi Adityanath under IPC 153-A. The CD containing the alleged hate speeches was sent to Delhi for forensic test and report was received.”
Upadhyaya retired from service in July 2015. When contacted, a CB-CID official declined to comment.
BJP state chief spokesperson Hridyanarain Dixit declined to comment and Principal Secretray (Home) Debashish Panda said he would have to go through the file concerned.