The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday stayed the suspension of an SHO of a police station in Muzaffarnagar, from where the release of 7 persons named in the murder of Jat youths had triggered a communal backlash, and issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Azam Khan for allegedly pressing for the release of the accused.
Justice Sudhir Agarwal stayed the suspension of Om Veer Sirohi, who was SHO of Fugana police station, and asked Khan to file his counter affidavit within ten days from the receipt of notice and the state government to file its reply within two weeks.
The petitioner had contended seven Muslims were arrested for the murder of two Jat youths Gaurav and Sachin and brought to Fugana police station on August 28 this year "but immediately thereafter, under the pressure of respondent no. 4 (Azam Khan), the top officers of the district namely the District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police were transferred and thereafter the arrested accused persons were directed to be released forthwith".
"This release of accused persons incited another community and in view of that, several meetings took place as a result of which riots took place", the petitioner had submitted.
The court said the allegations in the suspension order "cannot be said to constitute a misconduct on the part of the petitioner. It only reveals that the petitioner could not effectively control violent incidents".
The court, however, noted that the allegations levelled against Khan were "serious" and "the chain of incidents show that the matter requires consideration to see the circumstances behind passing the impugned order" and to find out whether the same was "in accordance with law" and not "vitiated".