With the situation showing improvement,curfew was relaxed for five hours on Wednesday in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar while Baghpat witnessed a communal clash leaving a constable injured.
District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said the situation in Muzaffarnagar was under control and no untoward incident was reported during the day.
“Curfew was relaxed relaxed from 12 noon till 4 pm and later extended till 5 pm in Kotwali,Civil Lines and Nai Mandi areas of the district,” IG (Special Task Force) Ashish Gupta told reporters in Lucknow.
Strict vigil was being maintained during the relaxation period and police and paramilitary forces are on high alert,Sharma said.
Arms recovered,40 arrested in Bhagpat
Two communities clashed in Tirthal village in Baghpat during which stones were pelted at each other. A constable sustained head injuries,Gupta said.
A gun,41 cartridges of AK-47 and 17 other cartridges were recovered during house-to-house searches in a village in Baghpat,police said.
Knives,daggers and swords were also recovered during the searches launched by police in village Kirthal after a gunner of a Circle Officer was injured in stone-pelting.
“A patrolling party was passing through the village when stones were hurled at it from a house. One policeman was hit in the head,” SP Laxmi Singh said.
Some 40 persons were arrested during the combing operation in the village,police said.
The administration had imposed curfew in Kotwali,Civil Lines and Nai Mandi areas of the district on Saturday last following the communal flare up. Yesterday,curfew was relaxed for two-and-a-half in these areas.
40 people have died in the clashes in various districts of western Uttar Pradesh. Besides 34 in Muzaffarnagar,two deaths have been reported from Meerut,one each have been reported from Hapur,Baghpat,Saharapur and Shamli
Mualayam alleges ‘political hand’ behind trouble
“If we do not remain alert then such incidents will be repeated,because some people on whom the people of Uttar Pradesh did not trust will try to take advantage,” he said.
“We will not let this happen irrespective of the biggest sacrifice we need to make,” he added.
8,000 army personnel deployed
Asked about remarks by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav suspecting a political conspiracy behind the communal violence,Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in
Delhi,”I cannot say about political conspiracies till I get a complete report about the violence (in Muzaffarnagar). But political parties could indulge in it.”
“80 companies (8,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces were deployed (in UP). Army was also deployed. Curfew has been relaxed now. Situation is improving,” the Home Minister said.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had yesterday said,”The state government would deal strictly with all those who have tried to create communal chasm and vitiate the atmosphere of Muzaffarnagar and Uttar Pradesh.”
Meanwhile,the Uttar Pradesh government has given financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh to the wife of a news channel correspondent Rajesh Verma,who was killed in the
Cong demands Akhilesh’s resignation
Stepping up his attack on the UP government over its handling of the Muzaffarnagar violence,Congress leader from UP and Union minister Jitin Prasada asked chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to take responsibility and resign.
“It is not an ordinary incident…despite warnings and suspicion and continuing tension why was it not foiled. How can it be believed that no one is responsible. Someone has to take responsiblity,” he said.
In Delhi,some infleuntial Muslim organisations today demanded dismissal of SP government and imposition of President’s rule in the state,accusing the Akhilesh Yadav
dispensation of having failed to control the situation from deteriorating.
They held a joint press conference which was addressed among others by Maulana Mahmood Madni,general secretary Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind,QRS Ilyas,Member of All Muslim Personal Law Board,Maulana Nusrat Ali,general secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,Zafrul Islam Khan,president of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and Taslim Rahmani,president,Milli Political Council of India.
Asked about remarks by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadavsuspecting a political conspiracy behind the communal violence,Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in Delhi,”I cannot say about political conspiracies till I get a complete report about the violence (in Muzaffarnagar). But political parties could indulge in it.”
“80 companies (8,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces were deployed (in UP). Army was also deployed. Curfew has been relaxed now. Situation is improving,” the Home Minister said. Gupta said the situation in Tirthal village was brought under control promptly by the police after taking both the communities into confidence. 40 people were arrested.
Describing the situation as tense but under control,the IG said that police and administration was working towards confidence building measures by establishing dialogue with members of both the communities.
The administration is taking steps to quell fears among people and has been asking them not to swayed by rumours or videos and CDs being attributed to the Muzaffarnagar incident. The official said so far 1,500 people have been arrested,2,000 arm licences cancelled and 10,000 persons bound down since the outbreak of violence.
While NSA has been invoked against seven people,the process with regard to others was underway,the IG said,adding that NSA was also proposed to be invoked on those who had given inflammatory speech in the Panchayat on Saturday last besides those who loaded the video clipping which escalated tension.
Home Secretary Kamal Saxena said around 10,000 people have taken shelter in ten relief camps where essential commodities were being provided by the administration. He also said the one-man inquiry commission to probe the incidents has been constituted and it was likely to start functioning in a couple of days. The process of distributing cheques to the kin of the deceased has started with ten cheques being presented today,Saxena said. Financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh has been extended to the wife of a news channel correspondent Rajesh Verma,who was killed in the clashes.