By Omar Rashid / The Wire

New Delhi: On August 28, Union minister Sanjeev Balyan visited Kawal village in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district to participate in religious rituals marking the tenth death anniversary of the two Hindu Jat youth, whose murder, along with the killing of a Muslim youth named Shahnawaz, had triggered the deadly communal violence in the district and adjoining areas in September 2013.

At least 60 persons were killed and over 60,000 others – mostly Muslims – were displaced following the violence, which took place majorly in UP’s Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, not too far from the national capital.

Just like last year, Balyan – whose political career was launched following the communal polarisation triggered by the 2013 riots – attended the rituals in Kawal this year, too. A Lok Sabha MP from Muzaffarnagar, he holds the minister of state for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying portfolio in the Narendra Modi government.

After attending the puja-havan ceremony held in Kawal in memory of the two Hindu youths – Gaurav and Sachin – Balyan, who was among those booked for inciting the communal violence in 2013, tweeted: “…prayed for the peace of both the departed souls.”

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