New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government Wednesday opposed a plea for a CBI probe into the Muzaffarnagar riots, and told the Supreme Court that it did everything to contain the violence that broke out in September 2013.
“We have done everything at our command and to the best of our ability in containing the riots. There was no complicitof state police in the riots,” counsel U.U. Lalit told the bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions, including from Mohammed Haroon, Supreme Court Bar Association, Meerut district-based Jat Mahasabha and NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and relief measures like equal compensation to all the riot victims.
The Uttar Pradesh government too moved the court.
Lalit told the court that everything would go haywire if the riot cases were transferred to the CBI at this stage as Uttar Pradesh Police has already investigated the cases and filed charge sheets in some of them.
He said there was no discrimination in the distribution of compensation. The perception that victims from the minority community got more compensation was wrong.
The court was told there were many more victims from the minority community than from those belonging to other communities.
On an intervention by counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for one of the petitioners, the court asked Lalit to explain why there were differences in the grant of compensation.
Gonsalves told the court that while the family of a news channel correspondent who was killed during the riots was given Rs.15 lakh compensation, other victims were given Rs.10 lakh only.
The court also asked the state government to respond to why the compensation was limited to the victims from two districts of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli and not to those living in villages of adjoining districts like Baghpat.
The court was also told that police have taken every possible step to apprehend those involved in rioting and other criminal activities, including those involved in alleged gang rape cases.
However, in some cases, police did not succeed in the face of strong resistance by villagers belonging to some communities.