Two brothers kill a man stalking their sister and the stalker's family kills both of them. It was a revenge killing that triggered sectarian violence in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district that has left 28 people dead.
On August 27, two brothers of a girl were beaten to death when they went to talk to the family of a stalker who was stabbed to death by them in Kawaal village.
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As Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blamed the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar on a political conspiracy, Headlines Today got access to videos that expose politicians belonging to both the communities who incited violence with their hate speeches and inflammatory statements.
Even as the key parties involved -- Congress, BJP, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal -- the videos of the assembly of people for two subsequent mahapanchayats in Muzaffarnagar and that of a religious gathering following special Friday prayers tell the truth behind the larger conspiracy.
The religious gathering on August 30 saw some politicians from the community as they delivered extremely inflammatory speech. The religious gathering was followed by Jat community's khap mahapanchayat, which took place despite prohibitory orders in place. Certainly, the mahapanchayat was not possible without the local authorities' connivance.
The videos of these gathering show that some of the people present there were armed heavily. And, the politicians played their part by delivering hate speeches.
Be it Sadhvi Prachi of the BJP at the mahapanchyat, or BSP MP Qadir Rana, Congress leader Saeed-uz-Zaman, Samajwadi Party's Rashid Siddiqui and another BSP leader Noor Salim Rana, all were present at the religious gathering spouting venom to inflame passions.
Ironically, most of these politicians were not booked under Section 153-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) despite their hate speeches. Now questions remain why the district administration allowed these congregations despite prohibitory orders and why the leaders were allowed by the police to incite violence.
Violence erupts in UP again
Muzaffarnagar district was hit by fresh violence on Saturday in which two people suffered serious injuries even as tension simmered in rural areas of Saharanpur and Meerut districts after more bodies were recovered from Ganga canal.
Armed men numbering about 50 opened fire at a group of people in a forested area in Phugana locality in the district on Saturday. Two persons sustained serious injuries in the firing and were admitted to hospital while others managed to escape, according to police sources here. Tension flared up in the area after the firing and security personnel in strength were deployed to prevent any reaction, sources said.
Tension also simmered in the neighbouring Saharanpur district after an attack on a youth. In Meerut, tension prevailed following killing of a youth a couple of days back. Two bodies were recovered from the Ganga canal in Muzaffarnagar and one in Meerut district taking the number of dead in the communal violence to 47.
Three killed in fresh violence in India's Muzaffarnagar
Three people have been killed in fresh violence in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which was hit by religious riots last month.
While some reports described the violence as a religious clash, police told the BBC that it was sparked off by a dispute between two families.
More than 60 people died in the Hindu-Muslim clashes which erupted on 7 September in the town of Muzaffarnagar.
The riots were described as the worst in India in a decade.
Thousands of people fled their homes in the violence which was sparked by the killing of three men who had objected to the harassment of a young woman.
In the latest incident on Wednesday evening, three Muslim men were beaten to death while another was injured in clashes between local Muslim and Hindu communities at Muhammadpurraisingh village, senior local official Kaushal Raj told Press Trust of India news agency.
Muzzafarnagar police superintendent Hari Narayan Singh told BBC Hindi that the violence was triggered by a "family dispute".
Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, saw serious Hindu-Muslim riots in 1992 after the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya by hardline Hindus.
Correspondents say some political parties have accused each other of trying to polarise the communities along religious lines ahead of next year's general elections.
7 Get Life In Jail For Killing 2 Men That Led To 2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots
The Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, one of the worst communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh's history, had led to the killings of 66 people and over 50,000 were displaced.
MUZAFFARNAGAR: Seven people who were found guilty of killing two men in an attack that is said to have triggered riots in western Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar in 2013 have been sentenced to life in prison today. The Muzaffarnagar riots, one of the worst communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh's history, had led to the killings of 66 people and over 50,000 were displaced.
The seven men - Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Janangir, Afzal and Ikbal - were convicted for killing two men in Kawal village and rioting - by a local court in Muzaffarnagar on Wednesday.
According to the police complaint, two men of Kawal village were battered to death by five of the seven convicts over a minor altercation. The two other accused, Afzal and Iqbal, were summoned by the court later under provisions of section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code when the evidence of their complicity in the killings emerged during the trial, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
The clashes that broke out in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts after the two killings saw the deployment of the Army in the state for the first time in 20 years.
More than 6,000 cases had been filed after the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and nearly 1,500 people were arrested. The case, investigated by a Special Investigation Team or SIT, had filed 175 chargesheets.
A probe into the riots had given a clean chit to the then Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh and blamed the local police and officials for misjudging and mishandling the situation.
After the Yogi Adityanath government came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, BJP leaders from western UP, some of whom are named in cases related to the Muzaffarnagar riots, approached the chief minister for withdrawal of cases against those who they say had been falsely implicated. The Yogi Adityanath government has moved to withdraw 38 cases so far, but those concerning BJP leaders continue to remain on track for now.
This is a welcome development but still no justice for the riot victims.