Muzaffarnagar district magistrate opposes UP govt's move, says can't withdraw riot cases due to administrative reasons

Six months after the Uttar Pradesh government sought its opinion on withdrawal of 133 cases relating to the 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, the Muzzafarnagar district administration is learnt to have opposed the government's move. According to CNN-News18, the Muzzafarnagar district magistrate has refused to withdraw the riot cases on administrative grounds.

Muzaffarnagar district magistrate opposes UP govts move, says cant withdraw riot cases due to administrative reasons

File image of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. PTI

According to The Indian Express's report, a total of 503 cases were lodged after the riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in September 2013, which claimed 62 lives and a Special Investigative Team (SIT) was formed to probe them. As around 85 cases are already at the trial stage in the sessions court, the district magistrate has denied the possibility of their withdrawal.

These cases relate to hate speech, murder, attempt to murder, inciting violence and among the accused are many BJP MPs and MLAs such as Sanjeev Balyan, Suresh Rana and Sangeet Singh Som along with VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi, the report states.

“A letter in this regard was sent 10 days ago. I have advised the government that withdrawal of the riot cases can't be recommended," the district magistrate Rajeev Sharma told The Times of India.

However, CNN-News18 reported that the district magistrate has also said that the state government's order will be final and binding on this issue. “The district administration has no right to take any decision in the matter of withdrawal of the Muzaffarnagar riot cases. The decision of the UP government will be final, accused local BJP MP and former Union minister Sanjeev Balyan said on Sunday.

On 17 January, the state’s law department had sent a letter to the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate, seeking details of cases of hate speech against the BJP leaders. However, in a second letter on 23 February, the law department sought details of 131 cases related to the riots. The district magistrate, SSP and prosecuting officer were then asked to give their separate opinions on withdrawal of these cases.

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Updated Date: Aug 13, 2018 09:35:42 IST

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