7 guilty in murders that sparked Muzaffarnagar riots

7 guilty in murders that sparked Muzaffarnagar riots

A local court in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district, about 500 kilometres from here, on Wednesday, held all the seven accused guilty of killing two boys, both cousins, in 2013.

The killings had triggered communal riots in the area, which claimed more than 60 lives and left thousands homeless.

Additional district judge Himanshu Bhatnagar delivered the verdict in a packed courtroom in Muzaffarnagar. The court would announce the sentence on Friday.

The police took five accused in custody immediately after the verdict. Two others were currently on bail, police said.

Prosecution lawyer Anil Jindal said that the trial of the case had started in April 2014 and in all 10 witnesses had deposed for the prosecution and six for the defence.

Two brothers Sachin and Gaurav were killed on August 27, 2013, at Kaval village in Muzaffarnagar after their bike had collided with the bike of a youth, who belonged to a different community, from the village. A youth from the village was also killed in the clash over the matter.

The killing sparked off communal clashes in the district, which soon spread to the neighbouring Shamli district also.

Over 60 people were killed in the communal violence and around 40,000 people, mostly Muslims, were forced to flee from their villages in the two districts and take refuge in shelter camps.

A majority of the displaced people had refused to return to their native villages even after the situation became normal fearing for their safety and had been living with their relatives at other places.