The Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected a plea seeking an independent inquiry by the CBI into a hate speech by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that had led to communal riots in Gorakhpur in 2007.
A division bench consisting of Justices Krishna Murari and AC Sharma, dismissed the plea on the grounds that it had found no discrepancies in the police investigation or the state government’s refusal to prosecute the CM.
The case relates to Adityanath’s time as a Lok Sabha MP in 2007, when he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace and violating prohibitory orders. His hate speech, delivered while mourning the death of a man in communal clashes, had led to ransacking of public properties and burning of a train.
Supporters of Hindu Yuva Vahini, a militant Hindutva organisation founded by Adityanath, had gone on a rampage torching a train compartment reserved for the physically challenged in Krishi Express after the news of the then BJP MP’s arrest. In November 2008, an FIR was filed against Adityanath, Mayor Anju Chaudhri, then MLA Radha Mohan Agarwal and another person for inciting communal violence and riots in Gorakhpur in 2007 through “hate speeches”.
Two individuals, Mohammad Asad Hayat and Parvez, had approached the High Court demanding a probe against Adityanath under sections 302, 307, 153A, 395 and 295 of the IPC, which pertain to murder and rioting. The CB-CID of Uttar Pradesh Police had probed the case and also found that the hate speech recording was positive against a voice sample of Adityanath in 2013. The CB-CID, however, was unable to charge-sheet Adityanath since the Akhilesh Yadav-led government too didn’t sanction the prosecution order.
In May last year, soon after Adityanath became the chief minister, his government had bluntly told the Allahabad High Court that he could not be tried for making a hate speech during the communal riots in Gorakhpur in 2007.
In December last year, the Adityanath government ordered the withdrawal of at least eight cases against the chief minister including 20,000 other ‘political cases’ that the Yogi government started the process to withdraw.