Within days of Yogi Adityanath government's move to withdraw Muzaffarnagar riot cases against several prominent BJP leaders, the powerful 'khaps' (community panchayats) on Monday demanded withdrawal of riot cases against hundreds of Jat youths also.
At a meeting in Muzaffarnagar's adjoining Shamli district, the 'khap' leaders from several Jat sub-communities, said that hundreds of Jat youths had been ''falsely'' implicated in riot cases and as a result their future looked bleak.
The leaders warned that they would launch agitation if the government withdrew cases against the BJP leaders and failed to withdraw riot cases against the Jat youths.
''The move to withdraw cases against BJP leaders is reflective of its double speak....it had assured us that innocent youths would not be harassed....we will be forced to take to streets if our demand is not conceded,'' said Naresh Tikait, leader of the 'Baliyan Khap', who attended the meeting.
Tikait said that the community leaders would soon convene a 'mahapanchayat' to discuss the matter and formulate their future strategy in this regard.
The state government had recently written to the district magistrate of Muzaffarnagar seeking information about the possibility of withdrawal of the 13 cases pertaining to the 2013 communal riots against senior BJP leaders, including former union minister Sanjeev Baliyan and UP minister Suresh Rana.
The cases were currently pending in the district court in Muzaffarnagar.
At least 60 people had been killed and thousands others displaced in communal clashes between Jats and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar in 2013.