Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Mincing no words, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government responsible for negligence in preventing communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas.
The apex court added that there was no need for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the Muzaffarnagar communal riots that took place in September 2013.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam passed a slew of directions for proper investigation in the cases and for rehabilitation of victims of the communal clashes.
"We prima facie hold the state government responsible for negligence in preventing such incidents," it said.
The apex court said that if the centre and the state intelligence agencies had smelled of what was happening at the ground level, then the riots could have been prevented.
Declining the prayer for CBI/SIT probe, the court referred to a number of steps that the state police has taken to deal with the situation and the subsequent actions.
The court said that the state had failed to protect the serious violation of fundamental rights of the people and said it was duty-bound to protect and uphold the people`s rights.
In a reference to a state government circular saying that the relief would be available to Muslim victims only, the court in one of its several directions said that the availability of relief should not be on the basis of victim`s religious denomination and it should be provided to genuine victims.
The apex court further directed the UP government to give police protection to victim families till completion of trial.
All accused persons named in Muzaffarnagar communal violence cases must be arrested, irrespective of their political affiliation, the court said.
The bench passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by various people including riot victims seeking its direction to the state government for proper probe into the cases and for a CBI investigation.
The petitions had sought the court`s direction to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to find out the reason behind the communal clashes in the state.
The PILs had also sought that the affected persons should be properly rehabilitated and the culprits behind the violence must be brought to book.
The communal violence, which had broken out on September 07, last year in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining towns, had claimed over 40 lives. It left 85 others injured and rendered 51,000 people, mostly Muslims, homeless.
The PIL was filed by Mohammed Haroon and others in the
The counsel for the petitioners had earlier submitted that the situation in Western districts was grim as mobs had set ablaze many religious places, shops and houses.
(With Agency inputs)