Amid an ongoing political slugfest over the communal clashes that have claimed 33 lives so far, seven leaders from the BJP, one former Congress MP and a former BSP leader besides three from the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) have been booked for allegedly whipping up communal passions through inflammatory speeches at a “mahapanchayat” organised in the city outskirts on September 7.
While none of the accused political leaders have been arrested yet, the State government on Monday instituted a one-member judicial commission headed by retired High Court judge Vishnu Sahai to inquire into the Muzaffarnagar riots. The commission will submit its report within two months.
Among those named in the First Information Report registered at the Sikera police station are BJP leaders Chaudhry Hukum Singh, Suresh Rana, Sangeet Som, Kunwar Bhartendu Singh, Sohanvir Singh, Kapildev Aggrawal and Pradeep Baliyan. “Forty people have been named in the FIR which has also been registered against over a thousand others [unknown] for promoting communal disharmony, preventing the police from carrying out their duty through acts of violence and for violating orders prohibiting unlawful assembly,” said Additional Director-General (Law and Order) Arun Kumar on Monday.
Names of BKU chief Naresh Tikait, his brother Rakesh Tikait and some Rashtriya Lok Dal leaders, who were part of the “Bahu Beti Samman and Hindu Bachao” rally, also find a mention as accused in the FIR.
Large-scale deployment of Army columns and para-military forces across the region has so far failed to restore normality. Afraid that the situation may aggravate, the administration has banned the entry of any opposition party leader.
RLD chief Ajit Singh, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad and two BJP MPs, who on Monday morning attempted to enter Uttar Pradesh to visit the riot-hit pockets of Muzaffarnagar, were detained at Ghaziabad.