New Delhi: In an embarrassment for the Uttar Pradesh government, a day after arrest warrants were issued against 24 politicians in the Muzaffarnagar riots case, not even a single MLA or MP has been taken into custody.
BJP leaders also staged a protest outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday over the arrest warrants. BJP leader Uma Bharti who led the protest for the party challenged the Samajwadi Party government saying that the state government should be ready to face the repercussions if any arrests were made without any investigations. "If any of our leaders are arrested, then Akhilesh Yadav will be responsible for consequences," Bharti said.
Arrest warrants were issued against several UP politicians including Sangeet Som, BJP MLA Bhartentu Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait, BSP MP Kadir Rana, BSP MLA Noor Saleen Rana, BSP MLA Jameel Ahmed, Congress leader Saidujama and 16 other people.
BJP leaders Sangeet Som and Hukum Singh, who are facing arrest warrants for their alleged role in hate speeches in Muzafarnagar were seen coming out of UP Assembly like heroes of their party.
Hukum Singh maintained that he had not done anything wrong and is ready to face any probe in the matter. Som also echoed the same statement and said that none of the MLAs are escaping the arrest and were ready to face the arrests.
There are allegations against the SP government for targetting leaders from other parties like Sangeet Som, Hukum Singh, Sadhvi Prachi from BJP and Qadir Rana from the BSP. However, no action has been taken against SP leader Rashid Siddiqui who has also been blamed for the same charges of inciting communal riots.
Akhilesh Yadav refused to comment when asked as to why the SP leader was being shielded. "I don't want to say anything on this right now," Akhilesh said.
As one week has passed and no arrests have been made, the Akhilesh Yadav government is facing several questions:
- If Azam Khan, the Kumbh Minister-in-charge quit after the stampede in 2012, why isn't he quitting now - as the in-charge of Muzzaffarnagar?
- What is the point of having non bailable warrants against leaders of the BSP, BJP and congress if they aren't going to be executed?
- Why hasn't the SP's Rashid Siddiqui not been charged, if he too was found making alleged hate speeches, along with Kadir Rana and other leaders of the BSP and the Congress?
Meanwhile BSP MP Kadir Rana who also has an arrest warrant against him has been missing. His Brother a BSP leader Noor Salim Rana said, "On August 30, there was no Panchayat, it was a gathering of community leaders. After September 27 there were incidents of violence in rural areas. That is why some community leaders had asked for an appointment with the DM. All the leaders were asked to be present at the meeting. We went there on invitation and the DM had given us permission. There was no rally or big gathering. There were leaders from the Congress, SP, BSP and other parties."
"Whatever it is, I will cooperate with the police. If needed, I will surrender," he added.