The Yogi Adityanath is learnt to be considering withdrawal of a case against BJP leaders regarding the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. It has also sought an opinion of the district magistrate regarding its status and asking if withdrawing it would be the right step in public interest. As per The Indian Express, the state government, through the Law Department, had sought details on 13 points in the case, that was registered on August 31, 2013. There is no mention of the leader’s name in the letter, except the serial number of the case.
As per a PTI report, the Uttar Pradesh government has also sought information on the possibility of withdrawing eight other criminal cases pending in a court. The cases were filed against UP minister Suresh Rana, former Union minister Sanjiv Balyan, MP Bhartendu Singh, MLA Umesh Malik and party leader Sadhvi Prachi. Bhartendu Malik has said he had no knowledge of the latter, and that he had not approached the state government for withdrawal of the cases.
“No such letter has been received so far. It is possible that it will reach us soon. We will be able to speak on the matter once an official communication is received,” Harish Chandra, ADM, Muzaffarnagar, also said the same was quoted as saying by IE. Muzaffarnagar SSP Anant Deo said he was on leave but that “there was something regarding withdrawal of cases”, and said the SP, City, who was in-charge, would be able to help. SP, City, Omvir Singh, said he hadn’t seen the notice so far.
Baliyan, Bhartendra Singh and Umesh Malik are all facing cases related to Muzaffarnagar riots. The other BJP leaders facing riots cases include BJP MLA from Thana Bhawan, Shamli, and UP minister Suresh Rana, and BJP MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Singh Som.
Sangeet Som was arrested in September 2013 after making an alleged inflammatory speech at a mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar on September 29. The video of the speech was uploaded on Facebook, following which the police had registered a case against him and more than two hundred other people who had liked the video under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and also Section 66 of the Information Technology Act in Muzaffarnagar. However, in April 2017, he was given a clean chit in the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) closure report after no evidence was found against the accused. The accused persons had been charged with circulating the inflammatory video triggering communal tension in the district resulting in riots and the killing of 62 people.