In the first such disclosure,the Uttar Pradesh government informed the Supreme Court Thursday that till October 6,46 Muslims and 16 Hindus were killed in the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts.
Refuting the accusation of communal bias for vote bank politics,the state government also revealed that although majority of communal incidents took place on September 7 and 8,a total of 128 such incidents had,in fact,occurred between August 27 and September 16.
In the latest status report and affidavit,the government handed out the break-up of Hindus and Muslims killed or maimed in the riots as well as their alleged involvement in the clashes. The report puts the toll till October 14 at 63.
Reading from the report,senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan,who appeared for the state,told the Bench that 11 Hindus and 57 Muslims were injured in the clashes,and 352 FIRs had been registered till October 13.
A total of 1,068 accused have been booked for 128 cases lodged in the five districts of Muzaffarnagar,Shamli,Meerut,Baghpat and Saharanpur and a total of 243 arrests have been made. According to the report,majority of the accused belong to the Hindu community.
The state also apprised the court that more than 24,400 persons have been under constant police scanner since the riots.
The disclosure by the state government prompted the Bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam to express its pain at the loss of life and the segregation of victims on the basis of religion. It pained us to read that so many Hindus and so many Muslims were killed. It should not happen. Death is death. We cannot segregate them on the basis of their religion, it remarked.
However,the Bench,also comprising Justices Ranjana P Desai and Ranjan Gogoi,noted that the state was bound to furnish information in this pattern since the PILs into the matter had sought such statistics. We are not happy with the information in this manner but if there is an allegation,then it has to be explained by the government, said the Bench while responding senior advocate M N Kirshnamanis submission that there was no need for the government to identify the victims on the basis of their religion..
On the issue of a sting operation that purportedly showed some police officers admitting that they were told not to act during the riots by a prominent UP minister,Dhavan said a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee has been constituted to ascertain the authenticity of the sting operation.
Admitting that more than 17,000 people were still living in refugee camps and feared to go back,Dhavan assured the court that the administration will look into their safety. He asked for four-weeks time to file a detailed final report.
The Bench,while fixing the matter for hearing on November 21,clarified that it may order a CBI probe if it was not satisfied with the states actions. It also sought a response from the government on allegations that huge cache of arms and ammunition was kept in 32 adjoining villages.