In a major development in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case, seven convicts have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the court on Friday. A local court on Wednesday held the seven men guilty of killing two people in Kawal village in during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots that led to killings of over 60 people.
The seven convicts have been identified as Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Janangir, Afzal and Ikbal. They were convicted by additional district and sessions judge Himanshu Bhatnagar for the killings of Gaurav and Sachin on August 27, 2013, and rioting.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), the two youths of Kawal village under Jansath police station area were battered to death by five of the men. The two other accused, Afzal and Iqbal, however, were summoned by the court later under provisions of Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code when the evidence of their complicity in the killings emerged during the trial.
The local court convicted the seven after examining 10 prosecution witnesses and six in their defence.
As per official figures, given by prosecution counsel Mr Sharma, over 6,000 cases were filed following the 2013 riots and 1,480 accused were arrested for their alleged roles in the riots. A special investigation team, which probed the cases, had filed chargesheets in 175 cases. Fifty-six of them involving 430 accused resulted in acquittal. The state government has withdrawn some cases.
Described as the "worst violence in Uttar Pradesh in recent history", the 2013 riots saw the Indian Army deployed in the state for the first time in 20 years.
The clashes took place in Muzaffarnagar and Shamlu districts between religious communities, claiming 62 lives while injuring 93 others and leaving thousands displaced.
(With agency inputs)