Two Weeks Before Hearing On Muzaffarnagar Riots, Eye Witness Who Saw His Brother’s Murder Shot Dead
One of the eyewitnesses of Muzaffarnagar riots was shot dead in Katoli, Uttar Pradesh on 11 March, 2019. The shooters fired indiscriminately on 35-year-old Ashbab, who was the sole witness to the murder of his brothers in 2013. He died on the spot.
A milk vendor, Ashbab was delivering milk in Muzaffarnagar’s busy Indira Murti stretch, when two men on a two-wheeler fired at him. On March 25, 2019, he was to appear for hearing in the court against eight accused of killing his brothers.
Police are going through CCTV footage to identify the criminals. Ashbab was earlier threatened and asked to not appear for the hearing of his brothers – Nawab and Shahid.
Ashbab’s lawyer Nasir Ali told The Times Of India, “All the six accused are out on bail now. Ashbab was the key witness in the case, and its next hearing is on March 25.”
“He was being constantly pressured to reach a compromise. Fearing that he would be killed, Ashbab had even approached police in February and filed a complaint,” Nair Ali told the media.
A case under Section 302 (murder) has been filed against unidentified people.
2013 Muzaffarnagar riots
During the tenure of Samajwadi Party CM Akhilesh Yadav, Muzaffarnagar witnessed violent riots between Hindus and Muslims in August-September 2013. At least 62 people lost their life, 93 were injured and 50,000 people were rendered homeless.
SP government filed 131 cases against those involved. UP CM Yogi Adityanath has asked for the withdrawal of 38 cases against more than 100 people who are accused of the riots that killed 62 people. According to The Times of India, Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, during his tenure, had also sought opinion on withdrawal of cases.