All 7 convicts in 2013 Kawal murders that had triggered Muzaffarnagar riots, given life imprisonment by local court

All the seven convicts in the Kawal murder case from 2013, which had triggered riots in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, have been awarded life imprisonment by a local court, ANI reported.

All 7 convicts in 2013 Kawal murders that had triggered Muzaffarnagar riots, given life imprisonment by local court

Policemen walk on a road scattered with bricks and stones thrown during a communal clash in Muzaffarnagar. AP

The development comes a day after Additional District and Sessions Judge Himashu Bhatnagar convicted Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Janangir, Afzal and Iqbal for killing cousins Gaurav and Sachin on 27 August, 2013 and rioting.

The court convicted the seven after examining 10 prosecution witnesses and six in their defence.

Speaking to The Times of India, prosecution lawyer Anjum Khan said that only five accused were named in the FIR at first — Muzammil, Muzassim, Nadeem Jahangir and Furkan. Later, two more accused, Afzal and Iqbal, were found involved in the crime.

"All of them have been found guilty of killing Sachin and Gaurav. Five of them are already in jail while the bail of the other has been cancelled."

The two cousins were killed in separate incidents after their two-wheeler collided with one Shahnawaz's bike. Another local was also present at the spot. The killings led to widespread riots in Muzaffarnagar, in which 62 people had died and more than 50,000 were displaced. Later on, Shahnawaz was also killed.

According to The Indian Express, Shahnawaz’s father Salim had filed a counter FIR accusing the families of Gaurav and Sachin of killing his son, but the SIT submitted a closure report. The SIT had given a clean chit to six accused in connection with Shahnawaz’s killing in 2015, while the other two accused, Gaurav and Sachin, had already died.

As per official figures, given by prosecution counsel Sharma, over 6,000 cases were lodged following the 2013 riots and 1,480 accused were arrested for their alleged roles in the riots. A special investigation team, which probed the cases, had filed charge sheets in 175 cases. Fifty-six of them, involving 430 accused, resulted in acquittal.

The state government has also withdrawn some cases.

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Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 22:09:06 IST

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