Lucknow, Apr 26: The Uttar Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has pushed for withdrawal of two hate speech cases involving firebrand preacher Sadhvi Prachi, MP Sanjeev Balyan, MLA Sangeet Som and three other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers. The state’s law department on January 17 sent a letter to the Muzaffarnagar district magistrate seeking details of the cases filed against them and sought his response to the withdrawal.

“In connection with the withdrawal of cases, your clear opinion in public interest with reason,” one of the points in the letter states. The magistrate is yet to respond as the Muzaffarnagar police have not given an opinion on this. “It is a long process and needs time to complete,” Muzaffarnagar district magistrate Rajeev Sharma told a newspaper. The two cases were registered at the Sikhera police station after two mahapanchayats were held before violence gripped the region in 2013.

Two mahapanchayats were held at an inter college in the Mandor area on August 31, 2013 and September 7, 2013 in connection with the murders of Sachin and Gaurav. The two youth were allegedly lynched after the murder of Shahnawaz in Kawaal village on August 27. The murders had triggered a chain of violence in Muzaffarnagar district starting September 7, 2013.

Sadhvi Prachi, BJP MPs Kunwar Bhartendra Singh and Sanjeev Balyan and BJP MLAs Umesh Malik, Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana allegedly were present at the mahapanchayats and incited violence through their speeches. Sadhvi Prachi, Singh, Balyan, Malik and Rana are among the 14 accused named in the first case, related to the mahapanchayat on August 31, 2013. Prachi, Singh, Rana and Som are charged in the second case related to mahapanchayat held on September 7, 2013.

In the first case, the Uttar Pradesh police filed a chargesheet under IPC sections of unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon, assault or criminal force to deter a public servant, and wrongful restraint, while the accused were booked under IPC sections of assault or criminal force to deter a public servant, wrongful restraint including and under Section 153-A in the second case.