In a huge relief for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a special court of the Allahabad High Court dismissed a 20-year-old murder case against him on Tuesday.
The special court for MPs and MLAs dismissed the 1999 case of the murder of head constable Satya Prakash Yadav against the Chief Minister.
Yadav was the personal security officer of then Samajwadi Party leader Talat Aziz who along with her supporters was shot at by Yogi and his supporters. In the firing, Yadav lost his life saving the SP leader.
The Crime Branch, Central Investigation Department (CB-CID) probing the case had filed a final report which gave a clean chit to Yogi Adityanath.
The CJM court also upheld the final report and the special court has endorsed the CJM’s report dismissing the case of murder against Adityanath.
Aziz in 2018 had made a plea to reopen the case, which was turned down by a Sessions Court in March last year. Following the setback, she filed a review petition at the Allahabad High Court, which in turn directed the Sessions Court to reopen the trial.
The Session’s Court had then issued a notice against the CM and other accused in September 2018 for further trial.
There were lots of defiances from the opposition and Yogi was even asked to step down from the post until he was given a clean chit in the case.
During the 1999 government of Kalyan Singh, Aziz had registered an FIR against Yogi and his supporters under Section 302, 307 and few others.
The series of events developed after two groups had a small dispute regarding the land for the “kabristan” (burial ground) and the “shmashan” (cremation ground) in Pachrukhiya, Maharajganj.
Aziz had earlier told the BBC in an interview that the issue could have been resolved at the Pradhan level, but some people made it grave. She with her supporters were only protesting against the government when a group insisted to go to the Pachrukhiya village, where an issue of the burial ground had taken place four days prior to the firing.
Talking about the issue of lands in the village, she told BBC that a few Muslims had cut down a withered peepal tree which agitated a group of Hindus and they vigorously started planting peepal trees beside many of the graves. This, in turn, led to extreme communal tension, which continued for days.