Muzaffarnagar riots: UP CM faces heat, arrest warrants issued against politicians
UP Minister Azam Khan has now jumped to Akhilesh Yadav government`s defence after TV expose on Muzaffarnagar riots.
Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: A local court on Wednesday issued arrest warrants against politicians of Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress for allegedly inciting violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas.
The arrest warrants have been issued against BSP leaders Qadir Rana, Jameel Ahmed and Noor Salim Rana, former Congress MP Saedduzzaman and BJP leaders Hukum Singh, Sangat Singh Som, Suresh Rana and Kunwar Bharatendu. Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait are also on the list.
The Opposition parties today stepped up their attack on the Uttar Pradesh government in the backdrop of sting operations, which showed that the Samajwadi Party government had asked the state police to go slow on the perpetrators of the riots in Muzaffarnagar.
Stung by the TV expose that showed the UP government deliberately delayed action to stem riots, UP Minister Azam Khan today jumped to Akhilesh Yadav government`s defence.
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 Samajwadi Party government led by Akhliesh Yadav has come under Opposition attack, hours after the exposé on Muzaffarnagar riots was telecast.
The SP government, facing flak for delay in action to curb violence in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, on Tuesday night transferred two district police officers to cover-up the issue.
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.
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.