Akhilesh Yadav government may withdraw cases against Varun Gandhi
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The Akhilesh Yadav government is considering withdrawal of three criminal cases against BJP MP Varun Gandhi, including two arising from his alleged inflammatory speeches in Pilibhit during the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign for which the Mayawati government had detained him under the National Security Act.
Varun faces charges of creating enmity between people on religious grounds, committing malicious acts to cause outrage by insulting religion, and attempt to murder. The police have filed chargesheets in all three cases.
Acting on a request from Varun, the state government wrote to the Pilibhit district administration in September, seeking information on 13 points, including whether the three cases could be withdrawn in public interest. It also asked for the opinions of the district SP, district magistrate and prosecuting officer, according to sources. The reply from the administration, which has been received, is being considered, sources added.
The first FIR against Varun was lodged on March 17, 2009, at Barkhera police station for delivering inflammatory speech during a public meeting on March 8, 2009. The second FIR was lodged on March 18 again for allegedly making an inflammatory speech with communal overtones at Dal Chand locality the same day.
Varun claimed that the recordings had been 'doctored' as part of a 'political conspiracy'. Nevertheless, he surrendered at a local court in Pilibhit where he was remanded to judicial custody. While he was being taken to jail, his supporters allegedly attacked the police and pelted stones. This led to the third FIR, which was lodged on March 28, 2009.