The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to withdraw a case against BJP leaders who are accused of making inflammatory speeches at a mahapanchayat organised at Nagla Mandor village in Muzaffarnagar in September 2013.
The accused include Sangeet Som, MLA from Sardhana (Meerut); Suresh Rana, MLA from Thana Bhawan (Shamli); and Kapil Dev, who represents the Muzaffarnagar Sadar seat in the Assembly; apart from Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi.
The BJP leaders have also been accused of violating prohibitory orders, arguing with government machinery, and rioting.
Government Counsel, Muzaffarnagar, Rajeev Sharma told The Indian Express that a "withdrawal application has been moved in the court concerned, and the matter is still pending".
On September 7, 2013, the Jat community called a mahapanchayat at an intermediate college at Nagla Mandor village to plan the next course of action in the murder of two youths at Kawaal village on August 27, 2013.
The youths were lynched by a Muslim mob soon after they had killed a young Muslim man, Shahnawaz Qureshi.
Widespread riots occurred after people returning from the mahapanchayat were attacked and the violence spread to other areas in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts.
At least 65 people were killed and around 40,000 were displaced.
Nearly 510 criminal cases were registered into the incident.
The case was filed by then station house officer of Shikheda police station, Charan Singh Yadav, on September 7, 2013.
At least 40 people, including Som, Rana, Kapil Dev, Prachi, and former MP Harendra Singh Malik, were accused of giving inflammatory speeches against a community, violating prohibitory orders, holding a mahapanchayat without obtaining permission from the district administration, creating disturbance to stop public servants from performing their duty, and setting a motorcycle on fire, as per records.
The accused were booked under IPC Sections 188 (joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant), 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion, etc., and acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 341 (wrongful restraint), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage).
In February 2018, a delegation of khap chaudharis led by BJP MP Sanjiv Balyan met UP Chief Minister Adityanath and requested him to repeal cases against Hindus in connection with the riots.
The state government then began the process of withdrawing cases by seeking details from the Muzaffarnagar and Shamli district administrations. The Yogi Adityanath-led also sought the withdrawal of cases from the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police and Senior Prosecuting Officer.