Raj Singh, Special Secretary in the Department of Justice of the Yogi Adityanath government, has written to the District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Muzaffarnagar on January 5 on withdrawing, in “public interest”, riot-related cases filed in Muzaffarnagar against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.Some of the BJP leaders booked on charges of provoking the riots include former Union Minister and party MP from Muzaffarnagar Sanjiv Balyan, Bijnor MP Bhartendu Singh, Thana Bhawan MLA and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Sugar-cane Development, Sugar Mills, Industrial Development Suresh Rana, Budhana MLA Umesh Malik, and party leader Sadhvi Prachi. The letter sought information from the two senior officials on 13 points. The names of the leaders are not mentioned but the file numbers related to the riot cases against them are stated. Hate speechesThe BJP leaders were booked for inciting violence through their speeches in a mahapanchayat (public meeting) at Nagla Mandaur on August 30, 2013, ahead of riots that took place in the first week of September 2013. They were charged under Sections 188 (violating prohibitory orders), 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servants from discharging their duty) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code. Nearly 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced in communal clashes that took place in the aftermath of retaliatory ‘mahapanchayats’ held in the area in August 2013. The BJP leaders have termed the hate-speech cases “politically motivated” and “vendetta politics” of the then government led by the Samajwadi Party (SP) .