A local court in Uttar Pradesh issued non-bailable arrest warrants against politicians allegedly involved in inciting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar that claimed at least 50 lives.
The court ordered arrests of Bahujan Samjawadi Party (BSP) MP Kadir Rana, MLAs Jameel Ahmed and Noor Salim Rana, Congressman Saeduzzaman, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MLAs Sangeet Som and Bhartendu Singh, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait and 16 other politicians.
But, police said the arrests will be made only in the next 48 hours. "We have all the evidence, no one will be spared," senior police officer in Muzaffarnagar told NDTV.
MLA Som, 34, is accused of circulating a false video that set off hostilities between the two rival communities and resulted in over 40, 000 people abandoning their homes in Muzaffarnagar. However, he challenged the UP police to arrest him. "I don't know where the police is searching for me," he told the media while on his way to the state Assembly.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties in the state attacked the UP government for delaying action against those involved in instigating the riots, as claimed by the news channel. But state minister Azam Khan defended the government saying it was not the time to play the blame game.
"I have nothing to do with this; don't want to give any explanations," Azam Khan told reporters."It is not the time to reflect on what the Government did but what should be done to restore normalcy in the area." He also added that he is ready to face "any punishment" if found guilty.
The communal clashes began in the district on August 27 following the killing of a minority community boy accused of stalking a girl from the majority community. Later, a mob retaliated the killing and murdered those involved in it. The violence exposed the administration's ill-preparedness to control the riots.
Bhartiya Janata Party MP Kirti Azad demanded President's Rule in the state after the bloodshed in Muzaffarnagar. "President's Rule should immediately be imposed as wicked politics has been exposed. The FIRs have been wrongly registered, which the sting operations establish. The stings have clearly shown that communal politics have been played in the state," Azad said.