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UP government prima facie responsible for Muzaffarnagar riots

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - 9:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Slamming the UP government for its failure in preventing the riots in September last year, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held the Akhilesh Yadav government responsible for the violence.

The top court, however, declined to pass an order for either CBI or SIT (Special Investigating Team) probe into the incidents

Saying that the state government was "prima facie" responsible" for the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and its nearby areas, a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said, "It is the responsibility of the state administration in association with the intelligence agencies of both state and Centre to prevent such recurrence of communal violence in any part of the state.

The bench made clear that "the officers responsible for maintaining law and order, if found negligent," should be brought under the ambit of law irrespective of their status.

Expressing its displeasure over the state government's failure to provide relief to the needy, including the affected farmers who lost their source of livelihood, namely, tractors, cattle, sugarcane crops, the court said, "It is important that the relief not only be provided to all needy families irrespective of their religion but it should also be provided to only genuinely affected families."

The bench, also comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi, directed the government to pay Rs 15 lakh each to the families who lost their kith and kin and Rs 5 lakh to rape victims and allowed the victims to make representations to the state government, the court observed that the government is duty bound to consider them within a month from the day of acceptance of their pleas.

The court said SIT or CBI probe can't be ordered. "In the light of various steps taken by the State, facts and figures, statistics supported by materials coupled with the various principles enunciated in the decisions referred above, we are of the view that there is no need to either constitute SIT or entrust the investigation to the CBI at this juncture. However, we are conscious of the fact that more effective and stringent measures are to be taken by the state administration for which we are issuing several directions," it added.

Referring to some of the rape and murder cases, the court said the police should expedite the probe, nail down the real culprits and complete the probe in a time-bound manner.

The bench passed the order on a batch of petitions filed by various people including riot victims seeking its direction to the state government for proper probe into the cases and for a CBI investigation.

The petitions had sought the court's direction to the Centre and UP government to find out the reason behind the communal clashes in the state.

The PILs had also sought that the affected persons should be properly rehabilitated and the culprits behind the violence must be brought to book.
The communal violence thata started on September 7 last year in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining towns claimed over 40 lives. It left 85 others injured and rendered 51,000 people, mostly Muslims, homeless.

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