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SP, BJP in blame game over Muzaffarnagar riots report

Muzaffarnagar riots

A political blame game broke out today over the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots inquiry report which is believed to have commented adversely on the BJP and SP, as the two parties held each other responsible for the communal violence that left 62 people dead.

Amid reports that the Justice Vishnu Sahay Commission has indicted some BJP leaders, the Congress and BSP attacked BJP and SP, demanding strict action against those indicted for the violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh that involved Hindus and Muslims.

The contents of the report have not been made public yet while Sahai declined to reveal the findings.

The one-man Commission yesterday submitted to UP Governor Ram Naik its report on the inquiry into the riots in Muzaffarnagar and surrounding districts of western UP. According to the UP government, 62 people died and tens of thousands of others were displaced.

BJP rejected the report, saying its findings are “politically motivated” and meant to “cover up” the actions of the SP government in UP.

BJP MLA Sangeet Som, who is also an accused in the riots, rejected the Commission report and claimed that there was “sufficient proof” against leaders of UP’s ruling Samajwadi Party(SP)

“I want to ask whether our statements were taken by the Commission. We have sufficient proof against SP leaders and officers responsible for the Muzaffarnagar riots. We reject the report. It has no meaning,” Som, who was given Z category security last year by the Modi government, told reporters.

The SP on its part alleged that most of the leaders chargesheeted in the riots were from the BJP and accused the party of defending and even “rewarding” them.

“Most of the leaders who have been chargesheeted and are facing trial for heinous offences in the riots are from BJP,” Gaurav Bhatia, spokesperson for the Samajwadi Party, alleged.

He said the party will take action against any leader found complicit and “will not try to defend them like the BJP.”

SP spokesman Rajendra Chowhury blamed “communal forces” for vitiating the atmosphere in the state.

The Congress demanded strict action against those who “participated, perpetrated and instigated” riots and are responsible for the killing of innocent people, irrespective of their party affiliations.

“It is a very serious report. It has vindicated what we have been saying from day one,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in Delhi.

He said the “report has named” the people who are known and enjoying ministership, adding, “no action was taken against them.”

“Action needs to be taken against all those who are ideologically and physically responsible for what happened in Muzaffarnagar,” another Congress leader Manish Tewari said.

“The difficulty in this country is that such inquiry committee reports are confined to the record room, where they gather dust,” he said.

BSP supremo Mayawati demanded that the Commission’s report be made “public” and alleged SP and BJP had colluded in the riots.

“Though riots in SP regime are routine, Muzaffarnagar riots showed lax attitude of SP and its connivance with BJP,” she said in a statement.