Editorial Column: Two months ago, the Uttar Pradesh government told the Allahabad high court that it would not prosecute chief minister Adityanath on charges of inciting and leading widespread anti-Muslim violence in Gorakhpur and nearby districts a decade ago.
In response to a question the bench posed at the time, his government has now submitted a “counter affidavit” to the Allahabad high court providing a list of reasons to justify that decision. The counter affidavit’s claim that the petitioners were “not diligent” in pursuing the case for years and that there was not “a single effort at the end of [the] petitioner” to get the case decided is patently false. As is the claim that the petitioners chose “not to object [to] the continuation of the investigation by the CB-CID” for years – what is the writ petition if not that very objection?
There is no evidence that the police have ever questioned Adityanath, leave alone investigated him, to verify the charges of rioting, arson, assault and murder, the counter affidavit is a virtual exoneration of the BJP politician.
Neither Adityanath, who became chief minister in March this year, nor his co-accused have ever denied the allegations entered in the FIR in the case. In a television interview in 2014, Adityanath not only proudly admitted giving the provocative anti-Muslim speech that, as the FIR notes, caused widespread violence and murders, but said he’d do it all over again if needed.
The man, who incited communal violence ten years ago and proudly ratifies his stand even today, is being let over of all charges by the present Uttar Pradesh government simply because this particular man is now the Chief Minister of the state, is literally a classic example of mockery of Indian democracy.
The next hearing is on July 27, 2017.