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20th March 2017, 09:30AM IST

MEERUT: Muzaffarnagar riots accused Suresh Rana was made minister of state (independent charge) in the new UP cabinet on Sunday. A second-time MLA from Thana Bhawan, Rana is also the vice-president of BJP’s UP unit. Political analysts say Rana has been ‘rewarded’ for his Hindutva image. Rana was booked for promoting enmity between classes and circulating rumours to cause fear among the public ahead of the UP elections after he said that curfew will be imposed in Kairana, Deoband and Moradabad if he wins the polls.
“By giving Rana a place in the cabinet, BJP is giving a clear message that the next elections will be held on the basis of polarisation. He has been awarded for his Hindutva image. The future of Muslims and Dalits — the most oppressed groups — is very unclear now,” said Satish Prakash, a political analyst. Rana has as many as four cases filed against him. Some charges under which he is booked include promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and rioting.
“Rana is one of those people due to who the situation in Muzaffarnagar had worsened. It was due to them that rumours were spread in the area and people started pelting stones or leaving their homes for no reason. As if fielding the likes of him and Sangeet Som was not enough, the step of including Rana in the cabinet is very insensitive,” said Mohd Shamshaad, 52, who had to leave his village, Kutba, at the time of the riots. However, Sangeet Som — an accused in the 2013 riots — did not get a berth in the cabinet