A day after communal violence left three dead and several injured, Saharanpur remained tense but calm under curfew Sunday. The police arrested 36 rioters and lodged over 50 cases against unidentified rioters.
Confirming the deaths, the district administration said 33 people had been injured.
With curfew continuing in six police station areas, no fresh violence was reported. The police were using a camera-fitted drone to keep an eye on troublemakers. Large contingents of security personnel deployed after the violence continued to patrol the riot-hit areas.
Saturday’s Sikh-Muslim clash, triggered by construction on a disputed plot, had seen the two communities take to the streets with guns, swords and stones and indulge in large-scale arson. It was the fourth major incident of communal violence in UP this year, coming close to a year after the Muzaffarnagar riots that left 63 dead and 50,000 homeless.
And like in each of the past incidents, the political blame game started soon after with the Congress and BJP accusing the Samajwadi Party government of “administrative lapses” and “vote bank politics”, respectively.
Hitting back, the SP said there was an effort to “disrupt peace in the state” while maintaining there was “no place for communalism”. The Congress’ Rashid Alvi also blamed the BJP, accusing it of “pushing the state into a vicious cycle of hatred”.
At a peace meeting convened by the administration, people demanded curfew be relaxed so they could do their Eid shopping.