This Article is From Sep 14, 2013

Muzaffarnagar clashes: Police fail to arrest BJP MLA booked for making inflammatory speech

Muzaffarnagar clashes: Police fail to arrest BJP MLA booked for making inflammatory speech

BJP MLA Bharatendra Singh who has been booked for making inflammatory speech

Dehradun/Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police today unsuccessfully tried to arrest BJP legislator Bharatendra Singh, accused of making inflammatory speeches at a massive gathering of farmers last weekend that allegedly triggered communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Singh, the MLA from Bijnor, had been missing since the farmers' mahapanchayat but was today traced to his mother's house in Dehradun. Cops, though, returned empty-handed after failing to produce an arrest warrant.

"Government hasn't given any legal document as to why I am being arrested... arresting BJP MLAs will serve no purpose," Mr Singh said.

He is among three MLAs - Hukum Singh and Suresh Rana are the other two - who were booked earlier this week making incendiary speeches at the farmers' meet. The mahapanchayat had been held to demand justice for two Jat brothers who were lynched after they shot a Muslim boy for harassing their sister in the village of Kawwal. An attack on the farmers after the meeting led to clashes and spiralled into rioting in several villages.

Another BJP MLA, Sangeet Som, who has also been evading arrest, allegedly uploaded a fake video that was one of the triggers of the rioting in Muzaffarnagar, which has claimed at least 40 lives so far.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is under fire, even from within his own party, over the violence today said that he will visit Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had phoned Mr Yadav earlier this week to enquire about the situation, will also visit the western UP town on Monday; Congress chief Sonia Gandhi may accompany him.

The PM's visit comes at a time when the communal clashes have been seized by major stakeholders in UP to score political points ahead of elections in 2014. The Congress, especially, has been stinging in its criticism of the Akhilesh government led by the Samajwadi Party which props up the PM's minority government.