Lucknow/New Delhi: Two more legislators, one of the BJP and one of the BSP, were arrested yesterday over the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar district even as opposition parties blamed the ruling Samajwadi Party for the conflagration.
Sangeet Som, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Sardhana, surrendered in Salawa village of Meerut, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lawmaker Noor Saleem Rana was also arrested hours later from Meerut.
According to an home department official, BJP legislature party leader Hukum Singh was also arrested at Ghaziabad border Saturday evening but Principal Secretary (Home) R M Srivastava denied it. Meerut police chief Deepak Kumar said security has been beefed up in the entire region following the arrests.
The arrests came after BJP lawmaker Suresh Rana was arrested in Lucknow Friday.
BJP president Rajnath Singh yesterday called off his visit to violence-hit Muzaffarnagar district, and said in Delhi that whenever the Samajwadi Party (SP) comes to power, “a series of communal riots begin in Uttar Pradesh”.
Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was in Lucknow, said the Muzaffarnagar riots were a “big blot” on Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his government, and charged them with not responding to them properly.
A court later sent Som, Saleem Rana, and Rana to 14 days judicial custody when police produced the trio in execution of a non-bailable warrants issued by it earlier.
The 16 political leaders against whom warrants have been issued also include BSP MP Qadir Rana, BJP legislator Bhartendu Singh, BSP legislator Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait. Som was sent to Orai prison, Saleem Rana packed off to the Mirzapur jail and Rana sent to the Banda jail.
Som has been booked on charges of making and distributing a fake CD that showed a man being lynched. Investigations revealed the video was three-years old about an incident in Pakistan. Som is accused of doctoring it and claiming it to be a local one. He has denied the charges.
Rana and Saleem were arrested for allegedly making provocative speeches in the run up to the communal clashes. The opposition continued to blame the Samajwadi Party. Rajnath Singh was quick to blame the Samajwadi Party for the violence in Muzaffarnagar.
“If we see the history of riots, then we can see that whenever the Samajwadi Party (SP) comes to power, a series of communal riots begin in Uttar Pradesh,” he said after he was requested by District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma not to come to Muzaffarnagar city. He said the situation in Muzaffarnagar is like during the period of emergency, and said BJP leaders will meet President Pranab Mukherjee on September 24. IANS