New Delhi, Jan 21: Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has reportedly sought an information on the possibility of withdrawing nine criminal cases pending in a court against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.

In the January 5 letter to the district magistrate, special secretary, Uttar Pradesh department of justice, Raj Singh has sought information on 13 points, including whether the cases could be withdrawn in public interest. The letter also sought the opinion of the Muzaffarnagar senior superintendent of police. Though the leaders have not been named in the letter, the file numbers pertaining to the cases against them have been mentioned in it.

The accused leaders are facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint. The accused had allegedly participated in a ‘mahapanchayat’ and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August 2013.

Before Yogi Adityanath, the then chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had also considered to withdraw case against Muslim leaders, including BSP MP Kadir Rana in connection with Muzaffarnagar riots.

The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August and September 2013 had claimed more than 60 lives while over 40,000 people were displaced. In the two riot cases, 22 activists, including Rana, are facing trial in which a special investigation team (SIT) has filed charge sheets.

(With inputs from agencies)