Riot accused UP minister says will appear in court after assembly session

Riot accused UP minister says will appear in court after assembly session

Adopting a defiant attitude, riot accused Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Rana, against whom a non-bailable warrant (NBW) had been issued by a court in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case, on Sunday said that he would appear in the court after the end of the ongoing Assembly session.

''I will appear in the court after the session ends,'' Rana said while speaking to reporters in Meerut.

A court in Muzaffarnagar had a few days back issued a NBW against five BJP leaders, including Rana, former union minister Sanjeev Baliyan, BJP MP Bhartendu and BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Umesh Malik.

All these leaders were accused of delivering inflammatory speeches during the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in 2013 which left 60 dead and displaced thousands others. They had convened a mahapanchayat after the riots.

These leaders also faced charges pertaining to violation of prohibittory orders and obstructing public servants from doing their duty.

The special investigating team (SIT), which probed the riots, had been given permission by the state government to prosecute the BJP leaders.

The leaders had not attended the court hearing on November 24 this year following which the NBWs were issued against them. They had been directed to appear on December 15 but they failed to turn up.

It was not clear if the police would execute the NBW against the BJP leaders. The saffron party leaders would have an opportunity to approach the court for recall of the NBW. The court has fixed the matter for further hearing on January 19 next year.

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