Riot Accused MLA Suresh Rana Promoted In Yogi Adityanath Govt’s Cabinet Expansion
Rana had been named in criminal cases relating to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. He faces charges related to promoting enmity on religious grounds.
On August 21, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government carried out its first cabinet expansion, more than two years after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in the state. Of the total of 23 ministers who took their oaths at the Raj Bhavan in Lucknow, one has been accused of rioting in the past.
Suresh Rana, a two time MLA from the Thana Bhawan seat in western U.P., has been given a cabinet minister post. Rana, as per an NDTV report, had been named in criminal cases relating to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. He faces charges related to promoting enmity on religious grounds.
Rana was arrested in September 2013 on charges of making provocative speeches to cause riots. A case had been lodged against Rana under sections 188 (knowingly disobeying orders to maintain public order), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups on the basis of religion) 353 (provoking with intent to cause riots) and 435 (damage to property) of the Indian Penal Code and criminal law amendment act. He was released on bail by a local court, almost two months after his arrest.
Government sources told NDTV that Suresh Rana was rewarded for work done as minister of state in-charge of sugarcane, during which time he was proactive in trying to clear thousands of crores of farmers’ dues.
The riots had left 62 people dead and rendered 40,000 homeless.