Non-Bailable arrest warrants were today issued by a local court against a BSP MP, two MLAs each of BJP and BSP and 11 other political and community leaders for allegedly inciting communal violence that has claimed the lives of 47 people.
No arrests have been made yet, Police said, but added action will be taken in two days.
The warrants against the 16 persons that also included a Congress leader were out on a day when some of the legislators attended the proceedings in the state Assembly.
BSP MP Qadir Rana, BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Bhartendu Singh, BSP MLAs Noor Saleem and Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and BKU chief Naresh Tikait were among the 16 persons against whom warrants were issued, Police said.
They are wanted for violating prohibitory orders and provoking communal tension by making inflammatory speeches at different meetings (mahapanchayats) in this district.
Police said ten police teams have fanned out across the state to arrest those against whom warrants have been issued.
"The incident was a planned one to help one party gain political mileage over the situation," Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said in the UP Assembly, as he hit out at BJP accusing it of vitiating the atmosphere in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections and promised stern action against all those guilty.
The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas this month claimed 47 lives and displaced over 40,000 people.
"We have arrested three to four politicians. We have collected some evidence, some more evidence is to be collected and very soon more arrests will be made. Whoever is guilty will be arrested in two days....This is subject to investigation," Senior Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar said.
Som said he was ready for arrest and demanded a CBI inquiry into the entire issue. He has been accused of posting a fake video online that instigated tension.
He termed the allegations as "completely baseless and far from the truth," and claimed that the government was getting cases registered against him to appease a particular section of the society.
"I have myself demanded a CBI inquiry into the entire episode and I, along with all the MLAs, am ready for arrest, but the government should act correctly and uphold the truth," Som, who was in the UP Assembly, told reporters in Lucknow.
"I am being accused of instigating the people by giving inflammatory speech...If that is the case, there would be a CD...They should show it," Som, an MLA from Sardhana, said.
In Ghaziabad, the UP police detained Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari to prevent him from visiting Muzaffarnagar even as he asked SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to sack Azam Khan from the party alleging he had "nothing to do with the people."
"Muslims hate the SP leader and don't like him," he alleged.
"Khan does not have the support of even four Muslims in the state...He is responsible for Muzaffarnagar violence," Bukhari told reporters here and demanded that the UP Minister should be sacked from SP.
Accusing Khan of playing vote bank politics with the Muslims, Bukhari said that the Minister was looking after more than ten government departments, but he "has not benefited the Muslim community so far."
Due to Khan's behaviour, tension has mounted in the state, he alleged, adding the state government has not fulfilled the expectation of the Muslims. After being detained, Bukhari was taken to Vasundra PWD Guest House by the city police.
Meanwhile, high drama prevailed outside the state Assembly premises in Lucknow where senior BJP leader Uma Bharti led legislators and workers of the party and assembled there.
Bharti dared the Samajwadi government to arrest the party MLAs against whom the warrants were used and warned it will have to face "consequences" if the police went ahead.
"No arrests should take place without proper investigation," she said, demanding that state minister Azam Khan should also be arrested on the same grounds for which the party MLAs have been booked.
On being asked about the arrest of MLAs, IG (law and order) R K Vishwakarma said now that the warrants have been issued by the court the legal process would be followed.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.