Muzaffarnagar: A local court on Friday awarded life imprisonment to all the seven convicts for killing two youths in Kawal village in an attack which is said to have triggered the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots that led to killings of over 60 people.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Himanshu Bhatnagar had on Wednesday convicted Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Janangir, Afzal and Ikbal for killing Gaurav and Sachin on August 27, 2013, and rioting.

According to the First Information Report, the two youths of Kawal village under Jansath police station area were battered to death by the five of thee men.

The two other accused, Afzal and Iqbal, however, were summoned by the court later under provisions of section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code when the evidence of their complicity in the killings emerged during the trial.

The court convicted the seven after examining 10 prosecution witnesses and six in their defence.

As per official figures, given by prosecution counsel Sharma, over 6,000 cases were lodged following the 2013 riots and 1,480 accused were arrested for their alleged roles in the riots.

A special investigation team, which probed the cases, had filed chargesheets in 175 cases. Fifty-six of them involving 430 accused resulted in acquittal.

Recently, the state government said it will withdraw 18 cases related to the Muzaffarnagar riots and asked the district authorities to approach the court.

The directive came after the state government sought details of 125 cases filed in relation to the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.

Several leaders of the ruling BJP, including MPs Sanjeev Balyan and Bharatendra Singh, MLAs Sangeet Som and Umesh Malik, have been named in these 125 cases. Minister in the state government Suresh Rana and Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi are also accused in cases related to the Muzaffarnagar riots.

However, the cases asked to withdraw do not include the names of these BJP leaders.