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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Curfew relaxed, Saharanpur situation under control

S Raju, Hindustan Times  Saharanpur, July 28, 2014
First Published: 11:22 IST(28/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:46 IST(28/7/2014)

The Centre on Monday said the situation in violence-hit Saharanpur is fully under control and it is keeping close eye on it.

"Saharanpur situation is fully under control. We are keeping a close vigil," home minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

Singh's comments came a day after he briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the situation in the Uttar Pradesh town.

The home ministry has already sent 600 paramilitary personnel to assist the state administration in maintaining law and order situation there.

Meanwhile, authorities on Monday relaxed curfew in riot-hit areas of Saharanpur in two phases as the town limped towards normalcy after clashes between two communities over a piece of land on Saturday.

In the first phase, authorities have given a four-hour relaxation from 10pm to 2pm in the new city area followed by 3pm to 7pm relaxation in the old city.

“We have ensured supply of essential commodities and food items so that people can procure required commodities,” said district magistrate Sandhya Tiwari.

She added that cops are keeping a close vigil on the situation and they have patrolled the area throughout Sunday night.

The relaxation has been given so that people can shop before the festival of Eid, which is likely in another two days depending on the emergence of the moon.

Officials were divided over relaxing the curfew and BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal also expressed his reservations over taking any such move.

“I don’t think the situation is conducive for relaxation,” he said.

Read: Saharanpur remains tense after clashes; 36 arrested

People, who were confined in their homes for over 48 hours, came out to buy milk, ration and other essential commodities.

Long queues were seen at petrol pumps, vegetable vendors, dairies and grocery shops.

They complained many shop keepers and vendors sold vegetables and milk at high price.

“Vegetable vendors at some places sold potato at Rs. 80 per kg and milk at Rs. 70 per litre,” said Suchitra Bhalla, a teacher.

“My husband spent two hours in queue to get his car filled with petrol,” she said.

“There is no fresh supply hence vendors are selling stale vegetables and milk,” added Bhuvan Vikram,  a school principal.

Read: Akhilesh Yadav ducks, blames BJP

As many as 38 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence and authorities are looking at photographs published in newspapers and telecast on TV channels to identify the troublemakers. 

Clashes erupted between Sikhs and Muslims over a construction on a disputed piece of land on Saturday morning which led to widespread violence claiming three lives and injuring 33.

Read: Authorities in dilemma over allowing Eid prayers at Idgah

Dozens of shops and vehicles were torched and rioters openly used firearms and engaged in pelting bricks for hours.

Eighteen companies of paramilitary forces, including Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force, have been deployed in the troubled areas along with additional forces of state police to maintain law and order.

Read moreAkhilesh govt responsible for riots, says Shahnawaz

(With inputs from PTI)


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