BJP MLA Saini, 11 others let off: ‘lack of evidence’

The case dates back to August 27, 2013, when Sachin and Gaurav were lynched to death soon after they allegedly killed a youth, Shahnawaz Qureshi, at Kawaal.

A COURT on Friday acquitted BJP MLA Vikram Saini and 11 others in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots.

Saini and the others were accused of involvement in violence that broke out after the killing of cousins Sachin and Gaurav at Kawaal village on August 2013. Saini, the MLA from Khatauli, was the village pradhan when the incident occurred.

“Special Judge Gopal Upadhyay acquitted Vikram Saini and 11 others over benefit of doubt due to lack of evidence,” said Narendra Sharma, government counsel, after the Muzaffarnagar court’s verdict. The five prosecution witnesses were declared hostile after they did not support prosecution story, he said.

Saini and the other accused, who were out on bail, were present in court on Friday.

The case dates back to August 27, 2013, when Sachin and Gaurav were lynched to death soon after they allegedly killed a youth, Shahnawaz Qureshi, at Kawaal.

During the protest over the killing of Sachin and Gaurav, violence broke out in the village. The protesters pelted stones and set a car belonging to a Muslim on fire, said defence counsel Bharatveer Ahlawat.

The situation was brought under control after the arrival of a police team.

Next day, an FIR was lodged against 12 people, including Saini, under various charges, including rioting and criminal intimidation, said Ahlawat.

The three deaths are believed to have triggered the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts, in which 65 people were killed and around 60,000 were displaced.

Two more cases relating to the riots are pending against Saini, in which is he accused of making hate speeches, said Ahlawat.

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