10 years of Muzaffarnagar Riots: Hussain, whose mother was shot dead, is under pressure to compromise with the accused

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Masihuzzama Ansari

MUZAFFARNAGAR—Hussain Ahmad is fighting for justice whose 65-year-old mother was shot dead during the Muzaffarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh in September 2013.  

A resident of Kutba village, he was forced to migrate. He now lives in nearby Palra village.

On September 8, 2023, an irate mob that had gathered for a Mahapanchayat at Muzaffarnagar attacked the Muslim population of the Kutba village and looted their houses.

Eight persons of Kutba were killed by the mob after the Mahapanchayat. Hussain Ahmad’s mother Khatoon was also one of them. She was shot in her head. The Muslim houses and a mosque were ransacked and burnt.

Trying to bring the killers of her mother to justice, Hussain is running from pillar to post in the court. Narrating his struggle to seek justice, he expressed his disappointment. He said that there is very little hope left now to get justice.

He said that the accused in this case was sent to jail but got bail just in three months. “Eight accused involved in murder cases are roaming free. Now, we are under pressure for a compromise”, said Hussain.

He said that there was pressure to compromise in many cases but “I will not come under anyone’s pressure.”

On the question of who is putting pressure, he named an influential BJP leader, “who is trying to get the victims ready for compromise.” He gets emotional talking about his mother and says that he will never forget that incident.

Three hundred Muslim families of Kutba-Kutbi village were forced to migrate after the riot. Around 2500 Muslims have not yet returned to their village. Those Muslims who once inhabited this village have now shifted to the nearby population. Some have taken refuge in their relatives, others in Shamli. There are others who have shifted to the Palra village, five kilometers from here.

This is also the village of BJP MLA and sitting minister Sanjeev Balyan. His name figured in those who incited the mob. Kutba was one of the worst-hit villages during the Muzaffarnagar riots. Eight persons were killed during the riots. One of the dead was the mother of Hussain.

Hussain said, “Those who shot at my mother included some from my village and others from the mob returning from the Mahapanchayat. The FIR was registered after much pleading and the accused were arrested after exerting pressure but they managed to get bail just in three months.”

He said that all the accused are named, court gives dates but there seems to be no progress. Hussain said that victims were facing pressure to withdraw the murder and loot case. “The victims are being forced to be ready to take back the case”, alleged Hussain.

He said that BJP leader and minister Sanjeev Balyan has started a campaign and since that the cases in the court have been cold-shouldered. Earlier, an institution was helping in the case but that has gone silent after the talks of compromise.

Hussain said, “We don’t have any idea of the basis of the proposed compromise. No one is talking about justice for the victim.”

On the question of why he is not ready for the compromise, Hussain said, “Punishment to the culprit and justice to the victim is not being talked about, so, what does this compromise mean?”

Hussain said that he is not being threatened for the compromise but an environment is being created and it is feared that they can be threatened in the future.

Demand for justice

Expressing concern over the pressure to compromise, Hussain and others said that they demand justice for the victims and punishment for the murder accused.

Hussain said, “We demand that the government should take cognizance of the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riot. There are many families which have been displaced and they are still unable to rehabilitate. How can anyone fight the case when there is no employment.”

Many riot victims living in Nalhar village said they had yet not received compensation for the losses in the riot. Many families have not been accepted as a separate family and those families are facing problems

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