Panel meets Oct 17 to probe TV sting involving Azam

Lucknow, Oct 14 (IANS) A committee to probe the veracity of a sting operation by a news channel, reportedly showing political interference in functioning of police during the Muzaffarnagar riots, would hold its first meeting Oct 17, a state official said Monday.

The sting showed police and administrative officials in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar saying that they had orders from influential people in Lucknow to "let things happen".

Name of Minority Affairs and Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan also figured in the conversation. He denied he had issued any such orders to local administrative or police officers, and that the allegation was a political conspiracy.

The police officials in the sting alleged that it was at the behest of Azam Khan that nine accused in the August 27 eve-teasing case and subsequent double-murder were released.

The incident at Kawal is said to have triggered the riots that left 63 dead and more than 43,000 homeless.

Dilnawaz Khan, Congress legislator from Syana in Bulandshahr, who is on the six-member committee headed by Satish Nigam, said the officials shown in the TV sting were summoned to appear before the committee.

The committee would scrutinise if the sting was influenced by any political party, evaluate facts recorded in the control room and police station records during the period the officials were referring to.

It would also probe if the officials were dragging the minister's name to escape penal action against them.

Other points of reference include the conduct of the officials shown in the sting, during the riots.

-- Indo-Asian News Service

md/shs/vt

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