Muzaffarnagar riots: 20 acquitted over lack of evidence in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
District government counsel (DGC) Rajeev Sharma said that all the witnesses and complainants turned hostile in the matter.
Giving details, additional district government counsel (ADGC) Narendra Sharma said that Sirajuddin, a resident of Kutbi village, lodged a complaint at Shahpur police station on September 8, 2013, alleging that a mob had burned down their homes, tried to kill them, and looted their valuables.
According to the FIR, the accused allegedly raised communal slogans and damaged and burnt property belonging to a minority community in Kutba village on September 8, 2013. More than 20 persons had been booked under sections 147 (rioting), 436 (mischief), 392 (robbery), 386 (extortion by putting), 295 (outraging religious feelings), among other sections of the IPC.
According to officials, the case was being heard in the room of Additional Sessions, Judge Baburam. “The specific rioting case was being heard in the trial courtroom. A charge sheet was filed and witnesses had been examined. It was concluded that there was a lack of evidence due to witness hostility and 20 persons were acquitted. Further proceedings are taking place in other cases,” said Special Counsel Narendra Sharma.
Additional district and sessions judge, Baburam, acquitted them on Monday saying that the prosecution had failed to provide evidence against them.
According to sources, in the last eight years, 1,117 people accused in 97 cases related to murder, rape, robbery, and arson connected with the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots have been acquitted due to lack of evidence or witnesses turning hostile.
The police had registered 510 cases and arrested 1,480 people in connection with the riots. After investigation, the SIT filed charge sheets in 175 cases.
As many as 60 people were killed and more than 50,000 displaced during the Muzaffarnagar riots that became violent and communal.