The Uttar Pradesh government Saturday cracked down on the legislators named in different first information reports (FIRs) filed in cases of communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar district in the state. It has arrested three of them and issued warrants against 16 other political leaders.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Sardhana, Sangeet Som, was 'forced' to surrender in Salawa village in Meerut area while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Noor Saleem Rana was arrested by the police hours later. Som was also later formally arrested by the police.
District police chief Deepak Kumar confirmed Som's arrest and said security has been beefed up in the entire region following the arrests.
The two arrests came after BJP MLA Suresh Rana's arrest in Lucknow Friday. Som has been booked on charges of making and distributing a fake CD that showed a man being lynched.
Investigations revealed the video was three years old and was about an incident in Pakistan. Som is accused of doctoring it and claiming that it was a local incident. Som denies the charges.
Suresh Rana and Noor Saleem were arrested for allegedly making provocative speeches in the run up to the communal clashes that left 48 people dead.
Other than these three leaders who have been arrested, warrants have been issued against 16 political leaders including BSP MP Qadir Rana, BJP MLA Bhartendu Singh, BSP MLA Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait.
Arrested BJP legislator Suresh Rana, who was brought to Muzaffarnagar on transit remand Saturday, was produced before the ACJM-II court which sent him to 14 days in judicial custody.
The BJP has accused the state government of shielding the real culprits and acting against its party leaders without any proof or documentary evidence.