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CONTROVERSIAL: Yogi cabinet recommends withdrawal of 38 cases registered during Muzaffarnagar riots

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LUCKNOW: In a controversial move, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to withdraw criminal cases in 38 riot cases that were registered in the wake of the horrific Muzaffarnagar riots.

The cabinet has recommended withdrawal of 38 cases that were registered. In all, around 100 persons were booked in these cases. 

Around 65 persons were killed while over 50,000 had to leave their houses and live in relief camps due to the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

These include cases as diverse as those ranging from armed attacks to use of explosives and defiling places of worship. Apparently, the aim is to send a message to the dominant Jat community in the region, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The state officials had already prepared a recommendation note in this regard. The move is controversial as it was one of the worst incidents of communal violence in the state in recent years. The riots had taken place during the Akhilesh Yadav regime.

Though governments have earlier also withdrawn cases, the softness of the state on those accused of riots, raises a serious question. It also shows how state governments can take decisions that may be seen as obstructing the natural path of justice, in order to appease their core voters.

It is an age-old practice in the country that 'political cases' are withdrawn when regimes change. For example, Congress government announced withdrawal of charges against party workers that were registered during BJP rule in Madhya Pradesh. However, dropping charges in cases like riots, raises serious questions over the role of the state in ensuring justice towards the citizens.