Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav finds himself in the midst of a controversy once again.
A picture of him has surfaced in which the CM is seen with Moharram Ali, the main accused in the recent Saharanpur tiots.
Moharram has already been arrested by the police.
He is accused of allegedly inciting a mob to pelt stones and fire at the Sikhs.
Moharram had also allegedly opened fire at Sahastra Pal, a constable who is battling for his life in a city hospital.
At least three persons were killed and dozens injured in the communal flare-up in Saharanpur over a property dispute.
The state government has dismissed the photo as "baseless and misleading".
The photo was said to be dated April and lifted from the account of a Samajwadi Party leader on the social networking site, as per reports.
"The news related to photo of the CM with an accused in Saharanpur incident along with other persons is baseless and misleading," an official spokesman said in a statement.
"The CM meets a number of people everyday. The photo in which the CM is shown with the accused, other persons are also visible. In such a situation, making baseless comment on the basis of a photo is not indicative of healthy democratic traditions," he added.
"The photo is being circulated by some elements with the intention of misleading the people and malign the image of the government," he alleged.
The spokesman said that the accused in question had been arrested and action as per law was being taken.
"Stern action will be taken against criminals disturbing peace in Saharanpur," he said.
Earlier also, Akhilesh had attracted criticism when he had hosted a Muzaffarnagar riots accused.
Maulana Nazeer, against whom cases were registered in connection with last year`s Muzafarnagar riots, was allegedly invited by Akhilesh as part of a peace delegation.