Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinay Katiyar on Thursday demanded the immediate arrest of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for allegedly directing police officers to take delayed action during the Muzaffarnagar riots.
"Azam Khan must be immediately arrested and dismissed from Uttar Pradesh Cabinet,” Katiyar said.
“Azam khan should go to jail as his name came out in the sting operation. He should also be dismissed and removed from the cabinet,” he added.
The BJP had earlier questioned the UPA Government’s inaction following the sting operation on Muzaffarnagar riots, and alleged it shows that the ruling Congress Party and the Samajwadi Party (SP) are ‘hand in glove’.
“Is it justified for the ruling Congress Party to take no action against the violence in Uttar Pradesh in spite of such clear evidence? Hasn't the sting operation not proven the match fixing between two political parties?” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
He also demanded strict action against the Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders for their involvement in inciting the violence.
Azam Khan, however, earlier denied the allegations, and asked the concerned news channel to investigate the claims that it made in its expose.
Khan also said that he was willing to face the harshest punishment if proven guilty.
“I have nothing to do with this. I live a clean and truthful life. Neither am I worried nor do I need to give anybody an explanation. In fact, the channel that has tried to ruin my entire life, I suggest to them that they themselves investigate the claims made by them,” Khan told media in Lucknow.
“We are on the side of justice and action. I cannot even think of letting a perpetrator roam free. This is not in my character. I would rather die than lead the life they are accusing me of,” he said.
The Uttar Pradesh Minister challenged the news channel to establish that he had communicated to any police officer during the days of the riots.
On Tuesday, a news channel aired a sting operation on the Muzaffarnagar communal riots, which alleged that Azam Khan had instructed police officials to take delayed action in curbing the communal violence in the area.
Reports suggest that the two district police officers in the footage of the sting operations — Budhana inspector Rishipa and an Inspector of Fhuwana police station — were transferred on Tuesday evening after Headlines Today broke their 'Operation Riot For Votes’.
According to media reports, the police, however, claim that the transfers were ‘routine’.
The Uttar Pradesh Government has constituted a one-member judicial commission to probe the Muzaffarnagar violence, which has claimed over 40 lives.
The commission, which would mainly look into administrative lapses, if any, in controlling the violence, would submit its report to the government within two months.
Violence broke out in the Kawal area of Muzaffarnagar on August 27, when members of a community returning from a panchayat meeting in Naglabadhod, three kilometres from Kawal, clashed with members of another community.