Representational Image. Burnt house at Lisad village of Shamli district. Photo: JNUSU, TwoCircles


A local court in Uttar Pradesh on Monday acquitted 20 people who were accused of burning houses, robbery and extortion in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case, reported TOI.

Sirajuddin, a resident of Kutbi village had lodged a complaint at Shahpur police station on September 8, 2013, alleging that a mob had burned down their homes, tried to kill them and looted their valuables, additional district government counsel (ADGC) Narender Sharma said.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the riots cases had then filed a charge sheet against 21 people under IPC’s sections 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house), 392 (robbery), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) and 295 (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class). One person died during the pendency of the case.

However, the Additional district & sessions judge Baburam acquitted them, saying the prosecution failed to provide evidence against them. “All the witnesses and complainant turned hostile in the matter,” said district government counsel (DGC) Rajeev Sharma.

According to Dainik Jagran, the accused in the case included Kala, Ravi, Pushpendra, Deepak alias Kumar, Pradeep, Vishwajeet, Pappu alias Varan, Mamat alias Dharampal, Rakal alias Fermipal, Gokshvad alias Saurabh, Nikhil, Akash, Neeriwal, Kuldeep, Neetu, Kala alias Chandrakant, Pawan, Sonu alias Gaurav, Ranjha alias Rajpal, Ompal and Sachin.

In the last eight years, 1,117 people accused in 97 cases related to murder, rape, robbery and arson connected with the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots have been acquitted due to lack of evidence or witnesses turning hostile.

After the BJP formed the government in UP with Yogi as Chief Minister in 2017, a delegation led by BJP MLAs had met the CM in Lucknow in February 2018 and urged him to withdraw cases against the Hindus accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots.

Of the total 175 cases chargesheeted, the court has so far acquitted the accused in 36 cases and around 77 cases were withdrawn by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August and September 2013 had claimed 60 lives and displaced over 40,000 people. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government probed 510 riot cases in Muzaffarnagar and filed chargesheet in 175 cases. 1,480 people were arrested in connection with the riots.

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