Uttar Pradesh: Anger, anguish at murder victims’ homes after news of withdrawal of riot caseshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/yogi-adityanath-withdrawal-of-riots-cases-muzaffarnagar-shamli-uttar-pradesh-5107988/

Uttar Pradesh: Anger, anguish at murder victims’ homes after news of withdrawal of riot cases

On Thursday, The Indian Express first reported that the BJP government has listed as many as 131 riot cases for withdrawal.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
An abandoned house of a riot victim named in one of the 131 cases in Shamli. (Expres Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

From a man who saw his brother being hacked to another who received the mutilated body of his grandmother. They are among the families of victims in the 13 Muzaffarnagar riot murder cases that the UP government is moving to withdraw. On Thursday, The Indian Express first reported that the BJP government has listed as many as 131 riot cases for withdrawal. “The kind of life we lead, no one can imagine… and now comes this news. The feeling of helplessness makes me cry,” says Inam, a 26-year-old whose father was hacked to death in Lisadh village and whose case is on the withdrawal list.

Read | Yogi Adityanath government initiates process on withdrawal of 131 riots cases

The Indian Express, as part of its ongoing investigation from local police stations, tracked down court records and survivors in the murder cases.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
Over 500 cases lodged over riots in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli. (Express file)

The first six:

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FIR: No.425, Sept 10, 2013,
Police station: Shahpur, Muzaffarnagar
Murder: 8 hacked to death
Location: Qutba village
Accused: 110 people from Qutba village, all Hindus
Victims: Waheed (70), Shamshad (65) and his son Irshad (22), Qayyum (38), Khatoon (65), Tarabbu (55), Faiyaz (55) and Momin (17)
Case status: Chargesheet against 33 in 2014, 46 more in 2015

It’s been almost five years, and none of the families of the victims have returned to Qutba village.

“A few months after the attack, the men of our families went back with police protection to take what had survived the arson and loot. The women and children never went,” says 30-year-old Afsana, Khatoon’s daughter-in-law whose family now lives in Pallada village, 5 km away.

Read | Muzaffarnagar riots: Drop cases against Hindus, BJP MP Sanjiv Balyan, khaps tell CM Yogi Adityanath

“None of the other families live anywhere near Qutba. Momin’s family lives in Charthawal, Qayyum’s in Kandhla and Faiyyaz’s family is in Budhana,” says Gaiyur, in whose house Waheed and Khatoon had taken shelter on September 8, 2013. “They were trying to get out of the house when the mob attacked killed them with sickles used to cut sugarcane,” claims Gaiyur.

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FIR: No.376, Sept 8, 2013
Police station: Phugana, Muzaffarnagar
Murder: 4 hacked to death
Location: Lisadh village
Victims: Sukkan (65), Hakimuddin (80), Choti (85), Zarifo (55)
Accused: 59 accused, all Hindus

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
Inam lost his father, says family ‘left in neglect’

Sukkan’s 26-year-old son, Inam, says they have been “left in complete neglect” after the riots. “We received some compensation, but we are seven brothers and the money was not enough. My elder brother got the job of a peon at the DM’s office,” says Inam, adding that the relocated to Hamza Colony 10 km away. “Earlier we had our own land, we have nothing now. Two of my relatives have died due to snake bite at this house. Twice we have been looted at out homes at night on gunpoint. What kind of life we lead, no one can imagine,” says Inam who works as a labourer at a local brick kiln.

“I have taken a loan of Rs 60,000 from the owner of brick kiln to buy a horse to carry loads… No wonder the government is asking to withdraw the case. We are deeply saddened. On the day of the riots, my father refused to leave because he thought nothing would happen to us. The feeling of helplessness makes cry sometimes,” he says.

FIR: Nos. 256 & 142, Sept 8, 2013
Police station: Phugana, Muzaffarnagar
Murder: 3 hacked to death
Location: Bahavdi village
Accused: 36 named, all Hindus
Victims: Dilshad, his mother Sudi, daughter Ikra
Case status: On trial.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
Riyasat saw his brother being hacked

Mohammad Riyasat, a relative and complainant, says he is shocked to hear that the UP government is moving to withdraw the case. He claims that he had received several calls from police as well as the accused to reach a compromise. “But come what may, no accused’s name will be removed from my FIR. They killed Dilshaad and cut off my brother Liyaqat’s leg,” he says, adding that he has relocated to Kandhla.
Claiming to have witnessed the crime, Riyasat says, “We are managing somehow. The trauma is so much that it is as if the crime is happening right now, in front of my eyes. I had three handlooms and all that is gone now. I lost Rs 22 lakh worth of goods. I am now reduced to working as a labourer or selling vegetables.”

FIR: No.141, Sept 8, 2013
Police station: Phugana, Muzaffarnagar
Murder: 3 hacked to death
Location: Lank village
Accused: 15 named, all Hindus; 50-60 unknown, all from Lank village
Victims: Abdul Wahid (80), Rahisa (45), Mohd Tahir (50)
Case status: Accused acquitted by sessions court on Aug 16, 2017, for lack of evidence

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
Bashid says he fought for a year, gave up.

Tahir’s family has moved out. Bashid, the son of Rahisa and grandson of Wahid’s grandson, claimed that a compromise was reached with the accused. “I received Rs 15 lakh and a government job. My father Akram, the main complainant, died two months after the incident due to the pressure. I fought for a year but one of my uncles reached a compromise.” Asked about his job, he said, “My economic condition has improved but of what good is a job obtained from the murder of people.”

FIR: No. 266, Sept 25, 2013
Police station: Phugana, Muzaffarnagar
Murder: 2 hacked to death
Location: Lisadh village
Victims: Haji Nabbu (80), Zarifan (75)
Accused: All residents of Lisadh, 22 named, all Hindus
Status: On trial

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
Waseem says won’t accept withdrawal of case

Waseem, the 25-year-old grandson of Nabbu and Zarifan, says he received Rs 15 lakh each in compensation and a job as the gram panchayat secretary in Kairana. “No family that saw a killing then would accept the withdrawal of these cases,” says Waseem who is staying with his parents in Kandhla, Shamli.
“My grandmother’s mutilated body was found in a canal four days later, my grandfather’s body was never found. My grandparents used to take care of horses to carry loads to brick kilns. The old people thought nothing would happen to them but they were attacked after the Jat mahapanchayat took place. The 13 killed in the village were elders. All Muslim families attacked were daily wage labourers and economically weak. My wedding was supposed to take place on September 21 that year and all arrangements had been made for it,” he says.

FIR: No. 256 & 260, Sept 24, 2013
Police station: Phugana, Muzaffarnagar
Murder: 2 hacked to death
Location: Lisadh village
Victims: Sirajuddin (75), Hamidan (70)
Accused: 12 named among all residents of Lisadh, all Hindus

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath orders withdrawal of riot cases
Don’t want to take back the case, says Ayyum

“How can the government even think of withdrawing these cases?” asks Saeed, Sirajduddin’s son, the tone of disbelief clear over phone from Moradabad. In Muzaffaranagar, 38-year-old Mohammed Ayyum, speaking about the murders of his uncle and aunt, says, “Their children moved out and we have not kept track of the cases. But we are sure that we do not want to take back the case.”

‘Will withdraw all politically loaded cases’

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Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government will withdraw all cases related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots if they are found to have been “politically motivated”, state Law Minister Brijesh Pathak said.

(With inputs from Express News Service)