Muzaffarnagar riots: Mulayam should sack Azam Khan, says Imam Bukhari

Shahi Imam of Delhi`s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari was detained in Ghaziabad to prevent him from visiting riot-hit Muzaffarnagar.

Zee Media Bureau

Ghaziabad: Shahi Imam of Delhi`s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari, who was restricted from visiting riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, on Wednesday said that Mulayam Singh Yadav should sack UP Minister Azam Khan from Samajwadi Party as he had "nothing to do with the people".

Bukhari claimed that Khan had nothing to do with people and "Muslims hate the SP leader and don`t like him."

Samajwadi Party should not give him importance and sack him immediately, he said.

"Khan does not have the support of even four Muslims in the state...He is responsible for Muzaffarnagar violence," Bukhari told reporters here.

Accusing Khan of playing vote bank politics with the Muslims, Bukhari said that he was looking after more than ten government departments, but "has not benefited Muslim community so far."

Due to Khan`s behaviour, tension has mounted in the state, he said, adding the state government has not fulfilled the expectation of Muslims.

"We supported Samajwadi Party in the state elections, but it has not fulfilled our expectations after coming to power. Law and order situation has deteriorated," Bukhari added.

"I wanted to visit riot-affected areas in Muzaffarnagar and meet the victims and their families. Government should take strict action against the guilty," said Bukhari.

After being detained, Bukhari was taken to Vasundra PWD Guest house by the city police.

The reaction from Shahi Imam came after the Opposition stepped up its attack on the Akhilesh Yadav government in the backdrop of sting operations done by TV channels that showed the SP government deliberately delayed action to stem the Muzaffarnagar riots.

Stung by the TV expose on Muzaffarnagar riots, UP Minister Azam Khan today jumped to the defence of the Akhilesh Yadav government.

Speaking to reporters, Azam Khan, a prominent Muslim face of the party and also the in-charge of the Muzaffarnagar district said, "Such things aren`t in my character, I would prefer dying rather than living such a life."

Denying any wrongdoing in the riots, Khan said, "If found guilty, I am ready to face any punishment."

The UP minister, however, said that he doesn’t want to give any explanation to any one on the TV exposé on Muzaffarnagar violence.

"I have nothing to do with this, don`t want to give any explanations, "Azam Khan said, adding, "It is not the time to reflect on what the Government did but what should be done to restore normalcy in the area."

The sting operation showed Budhana Inspector Rishipal and the Inspector of Fhuwana admitting that they delayed taking action to contain the violence under "political pressure".
While Budhana Inspector Rishipal was sent back to Crime Branch from where he was brought a day ago, Inspector of Fhuwana Police Station was sent to police lines, sources said.

However, the UP police later termed the transfers as routine.

Ashok Mutha Jain, DIG Saharanpur range, said, "Special teams have been formed to nab the culprits, investigation is going on in Muzaffarnagar violence case."

Reacting to the exposé, BJP said, "The sting operation showed violence was state-sponsored."

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said, "The UP government is pursuing the agenda of vote bank politics and politics of appeasement. It must be dismissed."

"Because of SP`s failure this incident happened, we demand this government be dismissed and President`s Rule be imposed."

Congress leader Digvijay Singh also blamed the SP government for the riots in the district and said it could have been averted.
Muzaffarnagar riots: UP CM faces heat, arrest warrants issued against politicians

Speaking to reporters, Singh said, "It is really shocking for me to see the way SP government has acted in two cases. First in the case of VHP`s "chaurasi kos" parikrama, where the state government allowed VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia to hold press conferences while in house arrest. The two were not instigated by the government which proved that there was a match-fixing between the SP and the BJP."

"The sting operations on Muzaffaranagar riots are all the more shocking. It should not have happened. We call for a judicial probe into the matter. It is the most unbecoming of the SP government for the manner in which they have acted. There were clear warnings but the same were ignored by the state government."

In his reaction to the expose, BJP chief Rajnath Singh asked the Centre to dismiss the state government at the earliest.

"The UP government has no right to continue in power and we demand the Centre to dismiss it at the earliest. The Centre should take into account the facts revealed by the sting operation and conduct a thorough probe. We demand President`s Rule in the state at the earliest."

Meanwhile, police today cordoned off the UP Assembly after arrest warrant was issued against six politicians by a local court for their alleged involvement in the riots.

The six are likely to be arrested today.