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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Muzaffarnagar: Congress asks Akhilesh Yadav to step down

HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times  Muzaffarnagar, September 10, 2013
First Published: 17:53 IST(10/9/2013) | Last Updated: 18:29 IST(10/9/2013)

Curfew was relaxed for two hours in three areas of trouble-hit Muzaffarnagar, even as the death toll in the clashes reached 38.


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With no reports of any fresh violence, curfew was eased for two hours from 3.30pm in Kotwali, Civil Lines and Nai Nandi areas, district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said.

"Thirty-two of the 38 deaths have occurred in Muzaffarnagar," home secretary Kamal Saxena said.

While two deaths have been reported from Meerut, one each has been reported from Hapur, Baghpat, Saharanpur and Shamli, he said, adding 81 people have been injured and 366 people arrested in these districts.

Sending out a stern warning, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said, "The state government would deal strictly with those who have tried to create communal chasm and harm the atmosphere of Muzaffarnagar and Uttar Pradesh."

"We will make efforts to strengthen communal amity and ensure no incidents of violence occur in the areas where situation has been brought under control,” he added.

Curfew remained in force in other areas. Army patrolled the troubled areas in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Meerut, Saxena said.

Security has been stepped up in sensitive Bareilly district following communal violence in western districts of Uttar Pradesh.

"Though there is complete calm in the district but apprehending that anti-social elements may try to vitiate the atmosphere, prohibitory orders have been issued and leave of all the policemen cancelled as a precautionary measure", district magistrate Abhishek Prakash said.

In Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in Muzaffarnagar violence and Rs. 50,000 each to those seriously injured.

Singh had on Monday spoken to the chief minister and assured him of all help from the Centre to deal with the situation.

The Congress, however, asked Akhilesh to step down for failing to control the situation.

Madhusudan Mistry, Congress in charge of UP, said, “We are seeing a repeat of Gujarat here.” He said the BJP and SP had conspired to engineer the communal riots.

The seeds of the riots were sown on August 27, when a Muslim youth was stabbed by two Hindu youths, who were later lynched, over an incident of eve-teasing. On Saturday, an attack on a group of people returning from a mahapanchyat---called to demand justice for the people arrested in connection with August 27 incident--- triggered the fresh round of clashes resulting in loss of lives and exodus of people from villages.

FIRs against politicians

FIRs have been registered against BJP legislative party leader Hukum Singh, MLAs Suresh Rana, Bhartendu, Sangeet Som and former Congress MP Harendra Malik among others for violating prohibitory orders and some of the senior leaders who tried to go to Muzaffarnagar. More than a thousand others have also been booked for various offences.

Probe by a judicial commission

A one-member judicial commission headed by retired justice

Vishnu Sahai has been constituted by the state government to probe into the Muzaffarnagar violence and asked to submit its report in two months.

The opposition has accused the state government of failing to act in time to prevent the violence but the ruling Samajwadi Party has hit back, saying its rivals were trying to stir up communal trouble.

Political reactions

The Congress on Tuesday asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster Akhilesh Yadav to step down over Muzaffarnagar riots. While launching a attack on Samajwadi Party and BJP, Congress UP-incharge Madhusudan Mistry said the BJP and SP have conspired to ignite this riot.

He said, "We are seeing a repeat of Gujarat here.” However, SP chief Mulayam Singh said the administration has controlled Muzaffarnagar riots well.

He said, "The state government was completely alert. The administration controlled the riots in two days time. The security forces and administration acted sensitively."

Voicing concern over theMuzaffarnagar violence, RLD leader and Union Minister Ajit Singh today said it may spread to other states and become "unmanageable" if not controlled by "strict action".

"Now the main concern is to check spread of violence to other places, as if it's not controlled now then it may spread to other states... If it spreads to other states, then situation would become unmanageable. So, some strict action should be taken now," he said.

Asserting that BJP had no role in the Muzaffarnagar violence, senior party leader Venkaiah Naidu said people of Uttar Pradesh knew who was responsible and everything will come to light once the situation eased. BJP had no role in the violence and it was the action of the ruling SP that led to the violence in the Muzaffarnagar, he alleged.

Janata Dal(U) chief Sharad Yadavtoday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene an urgent meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) in view of communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district.


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