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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Muzzafarnagar: ground zero calm, curfew relaxed

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, September 11, 2013
First Published: 10:10 IST(11/9/2013) | Last Updated: 13:16 IST(11/9/2013)

There was no fresh incident of violence in the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar and its adjoining areas on Tuesday.

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With the region limping back to normalcy, curfew in three police station areas of Muzaffranagar was relaxed for three hours.

There was an official assurance of further relaxation on Wednesday.

Briefing journalists about the situation, home secretary Kamal Saxena and inspector general of police (crime) Ashish Gupta said after Monday night’s clash in which a fruit vendor was injured in firing, there was no further untoward incident on Tuesday.

The official death toll has mounted to 35 ( 32 in Muzaffarnagar and one each in Saharanpur, Baghpat and Meerut).

Gupta said the National Security Act (NSA) was slapped on nine persons in five cases.

The process to impose it on some others was also underway. “It would be slapped after their arrest,” he said.

Four BJP MLAs — Hukuma Singh, Surendra Rana, Sangeet Singh Some and Bhartendra Singh — were among 40 accused of delivering inflammatory speeches at Jat Mahapanchayat on September 7. They were yet to be arrested, Gupta said.

During a massive crackdown by security forces, 975 people were arrested and 7000 were bound down under Section 107/16 CrPC, under which people have to give undertaking that they would not indulge in any unlawful activity.

The arms licences of 1820 weapon holders were also cancelled.

A huge quantity of illegal weapons was seized. Gupta said central and state security forces would continue to remain in the region till the normalcy was restored completely.

Efforts were also being made for safe return of the people who had left their homes during violence.

Gupta said there were inputs from IB and local intelligence units and “we had made preparations accordingly but unfortunately violence broke out”.

Kamal Saxena said the government had been regularly giving information to governor BL Joshi and the union home ministry about the situation.


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