Sunday, June 4, 2023

Muzaffarnagar riots: Special Court sentences BJP MLA Vikram Saini and 10 others for 2 years imprisonment; later granted bail

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A special court in Muzaffar Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh on  on Tuesday has  sentenced BJP MLA, Vikram Saini, and 10 others to a 2 years in imprisonment in connection with the 2013 Muzaffar Nagar riots case. The violence had left at least 60 people dead and over 50,000 people were reportedly displaced.

The Spl. Judge (E.C. Act) Justice Gopal Upadhyaya has sentenced Saini and 10 others for a two years in prison, while another accused(Accused 12) has been awarded one-year imprisonment.

It is important to note that Saini and 10 others have been found guilty under charges relating to Section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 353 assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.

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The BJP MLA Saini is from Khatauli and his  lawyer Bharatveer Ahlawat said that they would file an appeal against the judgement.

 “The court, later in the day, granted bail to all 12 accused including Vikram Saini. They were released after depositing two sureties, of Rs 25,000 each.”

About 15 people were acquitted in the case for want of evidence. Of which 9 of the prosecution witnesses were examined by the court. The Muzaffarnagar riots had spread to neighbouring districts ,leaving  60 people dead and about 60000 people dsplaced.

According to the prosecution, the case is that of August 28, 2013 when three boys Shahnawaz, Sachin and Gaurav were killed at Kawaal town in Muzaffarnagar. Police said Sachin and Gaurav, the main accused in the murder of Shahnawaz, were killed by villagers. The killings triggered communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts.

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According to Sharma, a communal clash took place on August 28, 2013, when families of Sachin and Gaurav were returning home after performing their last rites. Police reached the spot and detained nine persons.

In 2019, a Muzaffarnagar court awarded life imprisonment to seven persons in a case relating to the murder of Sachin and Gaurav. A Special Investigation Team , formed to investigate the Muzaffarnagar riots case, filed a closure report in Shahnawaz murder case, prompting his family to file a protest application in court.

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