Monday, December 7, 2015

Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan visits Muzaffarnagar prison, meets 2013 riot accused

NB: The minister is himself an under-trial who has been pulled up by a local court for failing to appear before it in connection with the 2013 riots case. He also faces charges for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint. Given the manufactured communal polarisation in UP just prior to the national elections, his value to the ruling party is fairly clear. His concern for riot accused persons should come as no surprise. But we may be sure that he took an oath to adhere to the Indian Constitution when he joined the Union Government. DS

UNION Minister Sanjeev Balyan visited Muzaffarnagar district jail Sunday and met four inmates, who are accused in the riots that broken out in western UP in 2013, officials said on Monday. During his half-an-hour stay in the jail, Balyan reportedly discussed the problems faced by the accused who belong to Fugana area of Muzaffarnagar and face charges of murder and rape during the riots that saw more than 60 people dead and over 40,000 displaced.

Balyan, the Union Minister of State for Agriculture, also reportedly assured all help to the accused against whom the police have already filed chargesheets. “The minister met riot accused Indrapal, Kapil, Pushpendra and Gaurav,” said A N Tripathi, jailor, Muzaffarnagar district jail.

As per the records, Indrapal has been lodged in the jail since August 22, 2014, and Pushpendra since November 1, 2014. Kapil and Gaurav have been lodged there since October 18 and December 15, 2014, respectively. According to police records, Indrapal is an accused in the murder case of Azamuddin and his wife Haleeman. The couple were allegedly attacked and killed after violence erupted at Lisad village on September 8, 2013. An FIR regarding the murders was lodged at Fugana police station against seven persons, including Indrapal, on September 24, 2013.

Gaurav, Pushpendra and Kapil were held accused for gangrape of a Muslim woman at her house in Fugana police station area after the riots broke out on September 8, 2013. The victim had got a case registered against seven persons, including Gaurav, Pushpendra and Kapil. Special Investigation Cell, which is probing the riot cases, has filed chargesheets in both the cases. Balyan was not available for his comments on the visit.


A local court, on November 24, had issued fresh bailable warrants against Balyan, BJP MP Bhartendra Singh, party MLA Suresh Rana and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi for failing to appear before it in connection with the 2013 riots case. They are facing charges for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and also that of wrongful restraint.