A Muzaffarnagar court has accepted the closure report filed by Special Investigation Team (SIT) with respect to BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s controversial statement with respect to an inflammatory video ahead of the communal riots in the area, in 2013. Over 60 people died and around 40,000 were displaced in the violence. Although the closure report was filed four years ago, the court took cognisance and accepted the same on March 9.
"After the closure report was filed, the court registered it and issued a notice to the complainant, Subodh Kumar Singh, but despite sending repeated notices, he did not present himself before the court,” remarked the court. The court further noted that the complainant died during riots in Bulandshahr, without being able to make an appearance in court. In 2018, Singh was attacked by a mob when he went to restore calm in an area after violence erupted over rumour of illegal cow slaughter. NDTV reported that Singh was hit with an axe and was shot at. His body was found inside his official police vehicle, abandoned in a field.
Som responded to the court’s acceptance of the closure report, "I have said it time and again, even when they sent me to jail, that an impartial enquiry will bring out the truth. This is a fraud case, both the public and God will teach them a lesson. This is what has happened. They even formed a SIT, it was the Samajwadi Party government that did it, and the same SIT filed a final or closure report in court that they found no proof against me."
A case was registered against him and 200 others under sections 420 (cheating), 153a (promoting enmity between groups) and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 66 of the Information and Technology (IT) Act for circulating a clip linked to the murder of two youths, triggering communal tension in the district. It was later found that the said video was old and had been shot in either Afghanistan or Pakistan.
In December 2020, the BJP-led UP government decided to withdraw cases against several BJP leaders included MLAs Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana, and Kapil Dev Aggarwal as well as right wing leader Sadhvi Prachi.
This article was first published in Sabrang.