Saharanpur Clash
Representational ImageReuters file

In what seems like a game of passing the buck, Uttar Pradesh government panel accused BJP of igniting the Saharanpur riots and now, refuting the allegations, BJP leader Yogi Adityanath has stated that Samajwadi Party (SP) is responsible for the communal clashes, and not BJP.

A five-member panel led by SP leader Shivpal Yadav was established to probe the Saharanpur riots between Muslims and Sikhs, occurred on 25 July, which left three people dead and over 24 injured.

The committee submitted its report to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday, blaming the local administration and BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal of instigating the clashes, according to reports.

However, dismissing SP's allegations, Adityanath, in an interview, told The Economic Times that the BJP government did not instigate the riots, and in fact helped to end it. 

"A group of 2,000 Muslims ran riot for five hours under the leadership of a political person who is close to CM Akhilesh Yadav," he said, adding: "SP's own senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav has told Parliament last week that all the 17 persons arrested for Saharanpur riots by the Police are Muslims. So how is the BJP involved in the riots?"

Adityanath pointed out that it was Home Minister Rajnath Singh's intervention in the matter and a troop of 600 CRPF personnel sent by the ministry to control the situation in Saharanpur that put an end to the riots.

Criticising the panel's findings, which also accused local administrative involvement in the riots, Adityanath said that SP did have a role in starting the communal clashes.

"I believe the UP government report also blames administrative lapses for the riots, so by that logic, it can also be said that the SP government has a role in the riots," Adityanath noted.

Meanwhile, continuing the blame game, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal on Monday criticised the BJP government for "spreading communal violence".

Defending SP, he said that BJP is playing a political game by blaming SP for their own crimes.

"The BJP is playing politics on the Saharanpur violence, whereas, it is the SP which has highlighted the truth," DNA quoted Agarwal as saying.

"As I said earlier also, that the government should take action, and whichever official or political leader is responsible for it, the government should hold a strict investigation against them," he added.