A probe into the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots -- in which 60 people had died and thousands were made homeless -- has given a clean chit to the Akhilesh Yadav government of Uttar Pradesh and has blamed the local police and officials for misjudging and mishandling the situation.
- Clean chit to Uttar Pradesh govt in Muzaffarnagar riots report
- Probe report blames local police, officials for mishandling situation
- 60 people died, thousands left homeless in riots in Muzaffarnagar in 2013
The report by the Justice Vishnu Sahay Commission -- tabled in Uttar Pradesh assembly on Sunday -- has held Subhash Chandra Dubey, then Senior Superintendent of Police, Muzzafarnagar, and the local intelligence Inspector Prabal Pratap Singh directly responsible for the riots.
The senior police officer, the report said, was lax about controlling riots and the Mr Singh was indicted for failure of intelligence.
The report said no further action can be taken against BJP lawmaker Sangeet Som, who allegedly "liked" a fake video on Youtube, since his role is being investigated by the police. "No further action by the government can be initiated against him as per article 20(2) of the constitution of India," the report said.
Mr Som has been accused in two cases related to the riots. He had been arrested and is currently out on bail.
No one can be "directly held responsible" for the hate speeches, read the report. "In most cases, the panchayat and the local intelligence failed to estimate about the expected crowd turnover," it added.
Describing the sequence of events leading to the riots, the report also brought then District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma's role under scanner for his overall responsibility.
As far as the Maha Panchayat of August 30, 2013, is concerned, a case against politicians - former BSP lawmaker Kadir Rana, BSP lawmaker Noor Salim Rana, SP leader Rashid Siddiqui - and local businessman Ehsan Qureshi and others has been already registered and hence no further action can be taken, the report said.
The report was made public six months after it was submitted to Governor Ram Naik. The BJP had rejected the report, saying its findings were politically motivated. BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said, "In Saifai there were celebrations while people were suffering in camps... it also points to how the Samajwadi Party's role was."
Refusing to accept the clean chit given to the Akhilesh Yadav government, senior state Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, "The riots have given the country a bad name... the UP government cannot run away from their responsibility this way."