New Delhi, Jan 18: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Sardhana Sangeet Som on Tuesday claimed he was denied a visa to Australia because of riots cases pending against him. Sangeet Som is one of the accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and was booked under the National Security Act. The BJP legislator allegedly showed a video which reportedly sparked communal tension in Muzaffarnagar, which left 62 people dead and rendered 40,000 homeless.

Sangeet Som said because of the riot cases pending against him, foreign countries had been denying him a visa. “I love Muzaffarnagar very much. This is why I have become a known figure in the world to the extent that no country is willing to give me a visa,” Som, as reported by Indian Expresssaid at a meeting of the Chemists and Druggists Welfare Association in Muzaffarnagar.

“I applied for a visa to visit Australia but was denied on the plea that cases are pending against me. I had applied for the visa… in 2015 but could not get through. After that I dropped the idea of going out of our country,” he told the newspaper in a separate conversation. He pointed out that he had visited Australia, the US and Singapore before the Muzaffarnagar riots.

In his affidavit to the Election Commission, Sangeet Som has said five cases are pending against him. He was arrested in September 2013 after making an alleged inflammatory speech at a mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar on September 29 but was acquitted of all charges later. Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission’s report on Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 had put Som on top of the list of those it has found responsible for the communal violence.