State BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that the statement was unbecoming of a Cabinet Minister as decisions on the NSA were taken by police and not by political leadership.

"By this statement, it is clear that not only is the Samajwadi Party leadership biased against the BJP but even its ministers are also trying to influence officials to slap NSA against BJP MPs and legislators, who were headed to Kanth village in Moradabad for a 'maha panchayat', ” said Ahmed Hasan, on the sidelines of an event here on Sunday

He further added that the state government would book under the NSA, including political leaders, involved in fomenting trouble. 

"The government is very strict and serious on the issue of communal violence, and if needed we will book all those involved, including BJP leaders, in the Kanth violence under the NSA," he said.

"In the past, we had done so to BJP legislators for their role in Muzaffarnagar," the minister added. Commenting on the Moradabad Senior Superintendent of Police's statement that local BJP MP Kunwar Sarvesh Singh was involved in the violence to ‘create communal polarisation in favour of the BJP’, Pathak said it was amusing that political leaders were giving statements like officials and officials were talking like political leaders.

Post-Muzaffarnagar riots, the NSA was slapped on some BJP legislators."Instead of trying to strengthen law and order, the Akhilesh Yadav government is out to victimise and target anyone who raises voice of the oppressed," Pathak said.

Three MPs and one legislator were among other BJP leaders charged with inciting violence at Kanth village, where tension prevailed since police removed loudspeakers from a Shiva temple on the instructions of the district administration. Hindu residents objected and there were sporadic protests. The situation spun out of control last week when angry protestors pelted stones at police and district official, seriously injuring Moradabad district magistrate Chandrakant.

(Agencies)

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