Muzaffarnagar: Twenty persons accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, have been acquitted by a local court here on Monday, as the Additional district and sessions judge, Baburam said that the prosecution had failed to provide evidence against them.
District government counsel (DGC) Rajeev Sharma said that all the witnesses and complainant turned hostile in the matter.
Giving details, additional district government counsel (ADGC) Narendra Sharma said that Sirajuddin, a resident of Kutbi village, 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.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the riots cases had 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.
Slow moving justice
According to sources, 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.
The police had registered 510 cases and arrested 1,480 people in connection with the riots. After investigation, the SIT filed charge sheets in 175 cases.
Around 77 cases were withdrawn by the Uttar Pradesh government under CrPC Section 321, according to a report filed by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who has been appointed amicus curiae.
As many as 60 people were killed and more than 50,000 displaced during the Muzaffarnagar riots that took a communal turn.
A motorcycle accident in Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar sparked the riots that saw 60 people killed and more than 50,000 displaced, as per a Scroll article. A scuffle broke out two motorcycle riders, a Jat and a Muslim. A group of Jat boys went to the Muslim part of the village for revenge and stabbed the biker, Shahnawaz, to death.
Rumours were started and fake videos were shared of the riots being caused due to Hindus defending the honor of a girl from a Muslim eve teaser, leading to attacks on Muslims.