Muzaffarnagar riots: Two more legislators arrested

Lucknow, Sep 21 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh Police Saturday arrested two legislators and issued warrants against 16 other politicians named in different FIRs filed over the Muzaffarnagar communal clashes.

While Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Sardhana, Sangeet Som, was 'forced' to surrender in Salawa village of Meerut, police arrested Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Noor Saleem Rana hours later. The arrests came after BJP MLA Suresh Rana was arrested in Lucknow Friday.

The police later formally arrested Som.

Meerut police chief Deepak Kumar confirmed Som's arrest and said security has been beefed up in the entire region following the arrests.

Som has been booked on charges of making and distributing a fake CD that showed a man being lynched.

Investigations revealed the video was three years old about an incident in Pakistan. Som is accused of doctoring it and claiming it to be a local one.

Som has denied the charges.

Rana and Noor Saleem were arrested for allegedly making provocative speeches in the run up to the communal clashes that left 48 people dead and displaced thousands from their homes.

Rana, brought to Muzaffarnagar on transit remand Saturday, was produced before the ACJM-II court that remanded him in 14 days' judicial custody.

The political leaders against whom warrants have been issued include BSP MP Qadir Rana, BJP MLA Bhartendu Singh, BSP MLA Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait.

Meanwhile, BJP has accused the state government of shielding the real culprits and acting against its party leaders without any proof or documentary evidence.

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