7 convicts, all Muslim get life imprisonment in Muzaffarnagar riots case

Muzaffarnagar: A local court on Friday awarded life imprisonment to all the seven convicts, accused of killing two people in Kawal village in an attack which is believed to have triggered the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.

The sentence was pronounced by additional district judge Himanshu Bhatnagar.

The seven convicts, all Muslims were Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Jahangir, Afzal and Iqbal – are accused of killing two youngsters named Gaurav and Sachin.

Earlier on Wednesday, a local court in Muzaffarnagar had convicted the seven people in connection to the incident.

When the lifer was handed out to the accused, the court was packed and heavy security deployment had been made by the local district administration.

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Officials said that Sachin and his maternal brother Gaurav were lynched in Malikpura locality of Kawal on August 27, 2013, which triggered riots in western UP, leading to an unprecedented communal tension between the Jats and Muslims in the region. Sixty three people had lost their lives and more than 50,000 people had migrated to safer places.

Gaurav’s father Ravindra had filed a police complaint against the seven accused, including Shahnawaz, who was also killed in the violence. The accused Mujassim, Muzammil, Furkan, Jehangir, Nadeem, Iqbal and Afzal have been convicted on charges of attacking to kill, threatening to murder and gathering against law and rules.

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Families of the accused have termed the court’s decision as a “judgement of Allah” while the families of Gaurav and Sachin have welcomed the judgement.

The clashes that broke out in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh between the Hindu and Muslim communities claimed 62 lives while injuring 93 others and rendering more than 50,000 homeless.

The riots took place over a minor altercation between Hindu and Muslim youths at Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar district.

Described as the “the worst violence in Uttar Pradesh in recent history,” the 2013 riots saw the Indian Army deployed in the state for the first time in 20 years in which 62 people had died and more than 50,000 displaced.

With agency inputs