The government of Uttar Pradesh has moved to withdraw a case against leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including three MLAs who are accused for making incendiary speeches at a mahapanchayat organised at Nagla Mandor village in Muzaffarnagar in September 2013.
In a case filed by Charan Singh Yadav at the Shikheda police station on 7 September, 2013, Sangeet Som, MLA from Sardhana, Suresh Rana, MLA from Thana Bhawan, and Kapil Dev, who represents the Muzaffarnagar Sadar seat in the Assembly, as well as Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi were among the accused individuals, The Indian Express reported.
The BJP leaders are also accused of violating prohibitory orders for holding the mahapanchayat, arguing with the government machinery, deterring them from doing their task, and being involved in arson.
Rajeev Sharma of the Muzaffarnagar government Counsel told The Indian Express, “withdrawal application [in the case] has been moved in the court concerned, and the matter is still pending."
The Jat community had called a mahapanchayat at an intermediate college in Nagla Mandor village on 7 September 2013, to deliberate the course of action after two youths, Sachin and Garav, were murdered in Kawaal village on 27 August 2013. They had killed a Muslim youth, Shahnawaz Qureshi, and had been lynched by a Muslim mob.
People returning from the mahapanchayat were attacked and riots broke out in the city of Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts. Sixty-five people died and around 40,000 were displaced. A total of 510 criminal cases were registered and only 175 charge sheets were filed. In the rest, the police either filed closure reports or expunged the case.
The Special Investigation Team formed by the government of UP filed charge sheets against 14 accused, including Som, Rana, Kapil Dev, Prachi, and Malik.
In February 2018, a delegation of BJP-led khap chaudharis met Chief Minister Adityanath in Lucknow and urged him to seek a withdrawal of cases against Hindus involved in the riots.
The state government later began this process by seeking details from Muzaffarnagar and Shamli district administrations under 13 points, including in this case. The government also sought opinion on the withdrawal of cases from the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and the Senior Prosecuting Officer, The Indian Express reported.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)