The Supreme Court bench hearing the Muzaffarnagar cases issued notice on a writ petition filed by Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), victim survivors praying for the appointment of a High Powered Committee of Court Commissioners to survey the four worst affected districts (Shamli, Baghpat, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar), assess details of the dead and missing as also the scale of damages and monitor the transparency and quality of the probe/investigation and report back to the Supreme Court. Petitioners have also asked for directions to transfer the investigations to the CBI. The state government that had filed a status report has been asked to respond to the allegations by the petitioners that powerful accused are being dropped as accused and serious offence of rape and gender violence have not been recorded. The petition has also prayed for investigations into the overall criminal conspiracy, behind which majoritarian outfits are involved, which is related to communalizing the atmosphere prior to the elections using the services of supremacist outfits especially the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Individual incidents of conflict have been converted into mass mobilization by these outfits with hateful anti-minority propaganda being a ready tool.
The co-petitioners include two Victim Survivors, Shahid Hassan, son of Sirajuddin who along with four others was massacred in the attack on Lisadh village of Shamli district and Samaydeen son of Kamruddin who was also killed in the violence at Lisadh and the Awami Council for Peace and Democracy ((WP Nos 170/2013) and are being represented by advocates Aparna Bhat and Ramesh Pukhrambam.
The detailed prayers also include directions to the State to register FIRs against the named powerful accused persons in respect of arson, theft, attempt to murder and murder and rape and molestation; to constitute a High Power Committee of Court Commissioners comprising of the persons/officers, which this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper, to visit the affected areas rural as well as urban where people suffered murder, loot, arson, rape and other criminal acts and have not been able to lodge F.I.Rs for the offence committed against them due to fear, threat and intimidation or because they are victim survivors who are incapacitated and hence require assistance and access because of any other reason and to assist them to lodge F.I.R. for the offence committed with them to ensure a thorough investigation into all the F.I.Rs. which have already been lodged from 27.8.2013 to date relating to illegal meetings and unlawful assemblies, targeted loot, arson, circulation of fake photographs and videos and inciting communal passions by the holding of unlawful meetings and Panchayats by fixing the responsibility for the aforesaid offences; as well as identifying the officers, individuals, representatives, political leaders, organizations and other persons who instigated the general public by convening a Panchayat in village Nagla Mataund at Muzaffarnagar on 7.9.2013 where the people were allowed to assemble not only from adjoining district but also from outside the state armed with dangerous weapons; to direct effective compensation to all survivors of the dead and injured and those who have suffered heavy losses.
The petition lists in detail the chronology of events leading up to the ghastly killings at Muzaffarnagar that have rendered 41,000 homeless and questions the state police and administration allowing armed Khap panchayatas, Mahapanchayats when a communal atmosphere was building up in the four districts of Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Meerut. A list of 161 worst affected villages from where minorities have had to flee has also been annexed to the petition.
Taizoon Khorakiwala Nandan Maluste Teesta Setalvad
I.M. Kadri Cyrus Guzder Javed Akhtar
Alyque Padamsee Anil Dharker Ghulam Pesh Imam
Rahul Bose Javed Anand Cedric Prakash