Muzaffarnagar riots: `No proof`, 8 accused of rioting acquitted

  • | Tuesday | 3rd October, 2023

AGRA: The court of additional district and sessions judge in Muzaffarnagar on Saturday acquitted eight persons accused of burning down the house of a local villager and attacking his family during the communal riots in the district in 2013 due to "lack of evidence". One of the accused had died during the trial.Speaking about the matter, senior defence advocate, Pradeep Malik, said, "The incident pertains to September 8, 2013, when riots had spread in the districts Lisadh village under Phugana police limits. Subedeen, a local resident, filed a police complaint claiming that a mob comprising of Azad Pal, Jitendra, Parul, Vikas, Gaurav, Kuldeep, Sanjay, Rishipal and Mithlesh and some unknown persons burnt down his house after looting valuables. Owing to lack of evidence, the court acquitted eight of them."In his complaint, Subedeen had stated: "The rioters raised communal slogans while attacking my house. I was seriously injured during the incident and somehow managed to escape with my family and took shelter at a relief camp in Shamli."Following Subedeens complaint, police registered a case against nine persons under IPC sections 395 (dacoity), 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house). The case was handed over to the special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the riots cases. The SIT later submitted a charge sheet against the nine accused.District government counsel, Rajeev Sharma, said, "We will discuss with the victim and see the court order first and then decide on whether to file an appeal in this case."At least 62 people lost their lives and more than 50,000 were forced to flee their homes in the aftermath of one of the worst-ever riots in the state which erupted after a 25-year-old man, Shahnawaz, was stabbed to death at Kawal on August 27 allegedly by a group of eight during a clash. Soon after, a large crowd caught two of the alleged attackers, Sachin and Gaurav, and lynched them.

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