Muzaffarnagar inflammatory video case was part of policy of appeasement for Akhilesh Yadav government, says BJP MLA Sangeet Som

Sriparna Ghosh
sangeet som

Wikimedia Commons

A day after being given a clean chit in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Sangeet Som on Saturday said that there was never any evidence against him in the case.

"It was a result of the Samajwadi Party appeasement. They just wanted to make a section of the society happy. We didn't have any role in this. There wasn't any evidence," Som said.

The BJP MP also highlighted that he was given a clean chit long time back during Akhilesh Yadav's regime.

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Som had allegedly shared an inflammatory video on a social media website, which incited riots that claimed 62 lives and led to the displacement of 40,000 people from Muzaffarnagar and its adjoining areas.

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On Friday, the Special Investigative Team (SIT) of Uttar Pradesh Police had said that closure report was filed in a local court as no evidence could be found against the accused. "The closure report was filed earlier this week because Facebook's headquarters in California could not provide the complete details, which could have helped in collecting evidence in the case. The closure report has been filed on the ground that no evidence could be found," said inspector Dharampal Tyagi, the investigating officer in the case.

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According to police, the video of two youths— Sachin and Gaurav— being assaulted that was circulated on social networking sites had originated from the account of Som, MLA from Sardhana in Meerut. The two youth were assaulted in retaliation for the murder of Shahnawaz, a resident of Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar, on August 27, 2013. The video had a line running across the clip which said, "Bhai Sahab Dekho Kya Hua Kawal Mein."

Police had registered an FIR on August 29, 2013, against Som and 229 unidentified persons who liked the video under sections 420 (forgery), 153-A (promoting enmity on religious grounds), 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 66 of the Information Technology Act.

The primary investigation revealed that the video was uploaded on YouTube by another accused, Shivam Kumar, after it was allegedly shared on Som's Facebook account. Soon Som, Kumar and others removed their personal details from their Facebook profiles.

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It was then that investigators approached Facebook's headquarters at Menlo Park in California through the CBI to get information about the profiles.

According to Indian Express, sources said the investigators received "some information" from Facebook, but needed more details to proceed in the case. "We were regularly sending letters seeking coordination but all efforts went in vain," the sources said.

The video was reportedly shot two years ago, but not in India.

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