Muzaffarnagar, September 18; Non-Bailable arrest warrants were on Wednesday issued by a local court against a BSP MP, two MLAs each of BJP and BSP and 11 other political and community leaders for allegedly inciting communal violence that has claimed the lives of 47 people.
No arrests have been made yet, Police said, but added action will be taken in two days.
The warrants against the 16 persons that also included a Congress leader were out on a day when some of the legislators attended the proceedings in the state Assembly.
BSP MP Qadir Rana, BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Bhartendu Singh, BSP MLAs Noor Saleem and Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and BKU chief Naresh Tikait were among the 16 persons against whom warrants were issued, Police said.
They are wanted for violating prohibitory orders and provoking communal tension by making inflammatory speeches at different meetings (mahapanchayats) in this district.
Police said ten police teams have fanned out across the state to arrest those against whom warrants have been issued.
“The incident was a planned one to help one party gain political mileage over the situation,” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said in the UP Assembly, as he hit out at BJP accusing it of vitiating the atmosphere in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections and promised stern action against all those guilty.
The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas this month claimed 47 lives and displaced over 40,000 people.
“We have arrested three to four politicians. We have collected some evidence, some more evidence is to be collected and very soon more arrests will be made. Whoever is guilty will be arrested in two days….This is subject to investigation,” Senior Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar said.
Mr. Som said he was ready for arrest and demanded a CBI inquiry into the entire issue. He has been accused of posting a fake video online that instigated tension.
He termed the allegations as “completely baseless and far from the truth,” and claimed that the government was getting cases registered against him to appease a particular section of the society.
“I have myself demanded a CBI inquiry into the entire episode and I, along with all the MLAs, am ready for arrest, but the government should act correctly and uphold the truth,” Som, who was in the UP Assembly, told reporters in Lucknow.
“I am being accused of instigating the people by giving inflammatory speech…if that is the case, there would be a CD…they should show it,” Som, an MLA from Sardhana, said.
Meanwhile, high drama prevailed outside the state Assembly premises in Lucknow where senior BJP leader Uma Bharti led legislators and workers of the party and assembled there.
Bharti dared the Samajwadi government to arrest the party MLAs against whom the warrants were used and warned it will have to face “consequences” if the police went ahead.
“No arrests should take place without proper investigation,” she said, demanding that state minister Azam Khan should also be arrested on the same grounds for which the party MLAs have been booked.
On being asked about the arrest of MLAs, IG (law and order) R K Vishwakarma said now that the warrants have been issued by the court the legal process would be followed.
High drama outside UP Assembly
High drama unfolded in front of Uttar Pradesh Assembly with BJP leaders and workers, led by Uma Bharati, stalling the possible arrest of BJP MLA Sangeet Som, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for his alleged role in inciting Muzaffarnagar riots.
The BJP workers escorted the legislator to the party’s state office.
A large number of police was deployed in front of the Vidhan Sabha gate giving hint that Som could be arrested, sources said.
Taking the hint, a large number of BJP workers and leaders assembled at the gate and stalled the process escorting Mr. Som safely to the party office which is opposite to the Assembly.
Earlier Mr. Som alleged that the government was giving a wrong message and taking one sided action.
“If BJP MLAs are responsible, then even Cabinet minister Azam Khan is also responsible,” he alleged. “We are ready to struggle for the society and religion,” Mr. Som said.
On being asked about the police’s claim of evidences against him, Mr. Som said, “How they completed the investigation in one day…they are lying.”
Ms. Uma Bharati told reporters that the government was going back on its word as it was decided that no action would be taken without investigation.
The BJP leader said that she wanted to tell Akhilesh Yadav government that the party was ready to co-operate, but its MLAs should not be targeted without proper investigation.
“So far no investigation has been done…If BJP MLAs are facing charges then even Azam Khan is also facing charges,” she alleged.
She alleged that there were preparation to arrest BJP MLAs.
“To appease a specific community, SP wants to target us. If arrest is made today then the government will be responsible for the fallout,” she said.
Ms. Uma said, “If any MLA is arrested then all the legislators would court arrest and fight on the streets”.