The Bulandshahr district court in Uttar Pradesh has approved sedition charges against 36 accused in the 2018 Siyana violence case.
The incident, which occurred due to rumours of cow slaughter, led to the brutal death of a police inspector and a civilian.
The main accused, Yogesh Raj, a Bajrang Dal member, has been in jail ever since the Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order granting him bail.
The apex court had said it “cannot let lynching over cow slaughter go on”.
Additional sessions judge (ADJ) Vineeta Vimal, in her order, said, “It has been confirmed from the police investigation that the accused were part of an unruly mob with weapons. They arrived at the spot with an aim to disturb peace. The court allows Section 124-A (sedition) in the charge sheet and trial will take place accordingly.”
The orders were shared with all the accused who pleaded ‘not guilty’.
The Siyana violence took place in Bulandshahr on December 3, 2018.
A mob had gone on a rampage after a cow carcass was found in a sugarcane field near the Mahav village in Siyana.
Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, posted at the Siyana police station, was killed in the attack. A youth, Sumit Kumar, also lost his life during the violence in which the Chingrawati police outpost was set on fire.
Forty-four people were named in three separate charge sheets. Two of the accused died in the past three years, while one is a minor whose case is under trial in a juvenile court.
The Bulandshahr police had initially lodged an FIR for murder, violence, and sedition against the accused.
Later, in March 2020, the court dropped sedition charges from the charge sheet as the police did not have the requisite permission from the state to press the same.
In June 2019, the UP government sanctioned the sedition case. It took over two-and-a-half years for the court to press sedition charges.
“Among the 41 accused only six are currently in jail while 38 are out on bail,” said Yashpal Singh Raghav, special government council.