Millennium Post

Muzaffarnagar violence: UP CM appeals for calm, situation tense

With the death toll rising, Akhilesh Yadav has said that police have been pressed into service, and urged people not to be swayed by rumours.

‘I urge people of the state to maintain peace, communal harmony and warn mischief makers,’ he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in the state capital.

The situation is tense but under control, additional director general of police (law and order) Arun Kumar said on Sunday.  Officials said four senior police officials were sent by the state government as ‘officers on special duty’ to Muzaffarnagar and neighbouring districts, including Shamli, where tension has been reported.

Director general of police Devraj Nagar is monitoring the situation from Lucknow, and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is learnt to have given a dressing down to senior officials. ‘When tension was simmering for the last 10 days, the chief minister is angry as to why the violence, despite anticipation, was not contained in time,’ a close aide of Akhilesh Yadav said  on Sunday. With the monsoon session of the state assembly just a week away, Akhilesh Yadav is keen to end the hostilities at the earliest, the aide said.

Meanwhile, the Centre has sought a report from Uttar Pradesh government on violence in Muzaffarnagar and directed it to take strong action to curb riots. Home Ministry officials are in regular touch with the Uttar Pradesh government and have assured it of all possible help to control the violence in the western U.P. district.

Officials sources said the Centre has asked the state government to take necessary steps to ensure that communal tension does not spread to other parts of the state. If necessary, steps like preventive arrest and house arrest of those who may create trouble to disturb peace should be taken, the sources said.

The Home Ministry is particularly worried that there have been attempts to break the social fabric of UP in recent past and such attempts have increased recently, they said.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has already spoken to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and discussed the issue on Saturday.

Following the violence, curfew was imposed in the area on Saturday night, and police have urged people not to step out of their houses in violation of the restrictions, and have warned trouble-makers not to further vitiate the atmosphere.

BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that the fact that the army had to be called in to contain violence in Muzaffarnagar has proved beyond doubt the ‘failure of the Samajwadi Party government in the state’.
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