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Army starts withdrawing from Muzaffarnagar


Official sources said the authorities have sent a report to the state government for withdrawing the army as the situation had returned to normal. Eight columns of the Indian army, called for the first time in UP in two decades to control communal clashes that started on 7 September, are set to return to the Meerut cantonment, starting from Tuesday evening, sources said.

Army personnel were also deployed in Shamli and Meerut. Notwithstanding the army pull out, about 60 companies of paramilitary forces will continue to be deployed in the district.

The administration had also decided to recommence normal functioning of educational institutions from Monday. Senior superintendent of police Praveen Kumar said the investigation into the communal violence has begun by a special cell consisting of 30 police inspectors and three deputy superintendents of police (DSPs).

The decision to remove the army and withdrawal of the curfew was taken on Monday just after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi paid a high-profile visit to Muzaffarnagar. UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, had surveyed the district on Sunday and promised to book the rioters under the National Security Act.

Four BJP state legislators, as well as one from the Congress and two from the regional Bharatiya Kisan Union, have been booked for making inflammatory speeches leading to the violence.
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