Muzaffarnagar: While the bloodshed in the riots in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh have claimed the lives of 31 innocent people so far and left several injured, political war of words over the communal flareup continues.
The state administration claimed that no violence was reported from the riot-hit areas since Sunday afternoon, many alleged rioters were arrested, taking the total number of people in police custody to 90.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in an attempt to reassure the people in the riot-hit areas claimed on Monday that the situation is being brought under control. "Maximum forces have been deployed in the riot-hit area and officials have been ordered to act tough against the those indulging in violence," he said.
He said that he had briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Governor BL Joshi, and assured them that the state government will bring the situation under control.
The Governor also pulled up the state administration for its failure to control the violence while the Ministry of Home Affairs asked the state government to send its report every after 12 hours on the situation.
Meanwhile, politics continued over the riots in the state. Yadav, under attack from Opposition parties for allegedly failing to control the riots in Muzaffarnagar, said that his rivals only know how to criticise. He accused the opposition parties of a conspiracy ahead of the upcoming 2014 general elections.
Meanwhile, demanding President's rule to be imposed in the state, BSP chief Mayawati blamed the Akhilesh government for inaction and said that the CM acted only after the situation got out of control. "Life for people of UP has become even more difficult under SP rule. The SP government is fully responsible for what happened in Muzaffarnagar and nearby districts," Mayawati said.
However, the CPM blamed the Bhartiya Janta Party and the and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for the Muzaffarnagar violence. Four BJP MLAs along with a former Congress MP have been named in the FIR filed in relation to the Muzaffarnagar riots case. It is believed that the riots were followed by statements made by some leaders at a Mahapanchayat in the area.
Earlier in the day, many BJP and RLD leaders were detained while trying to enter the state. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad who was among the leaders who were detained said that vote bank politics was being played even at such a crucial juncture. "We are going there with the message of peace, police stopped us from going there. Vote bank politics should be stopped," he said while adding that action against 4 BJP MLAs has been taken under pressure.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the UP government had been warned for a possibility of communal violence in the state. "I had warned the state Chief Minister of the build up. The number of cases of communal disturbances have increased in UP in 2013. I spoke to UP CM and told him tension is rising and arrangements need to be made. He said he would make arrangements," Shinde said.
Tensions began when three murders were reported near Shamli over an alleged molestation on August 27. Prohibitory orders have been put in place till September 10 to contain any flare up in the communally sensitive areas of the state.
Questions have been raised from all quarters with the Rashtriya Lok Dal questioning why the BJP leaders have not been arrested despite a complaint lodged against them "Even after the complaint has been filed the leaders are roaming freely, leader Jayant Chaudhary said.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari said, "The UPA government is committed to ensuring peace in UP and that there is no communal violence. Communal harmony must be maintained at all cost, restored at the earliest. The UPA government has zero tolerance towards communal violence. All those responsible irrespective of their political affiliation must be brought to book."
However the police is trying to tone down the situation. UP ADG Law and Order Arun Kumar said that the violence has been brought under control with no fresh cases of violence being reported from the district on Monday. Though he without naming any particular party, Kumar said that some politicians are creating a situation of communal disharmony in the state.
Top officials including the Saharanpur Divisional Commissioner SK Srivastava, DIG DC Mishra and Meerut IG Brijbhushan were transferred on Monday in the wake of the violence in the area. in an attempt to control the violence four IG-level officers have also been sent to Meerut, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat.