New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh government`s initial response to the riots in Muzaffarnagar was apparently slow, with Home Ministry officials claiming curfew in trouble areas was imposed only after prodding from the Centre.
Official sources said the intervening night of September 6 and 7 was the most tensed night as there were rumours that one community was attacking the another and when the riots had actually broken out next morning, the local administration was allegedly clueless how to deal with them.
When six people, including a TV journalist, were killed and 34 injured, senior Home Ministry officials spoke to Uttar Pradesh government officials and suggested to them that curfew should be imposed to quell the violence immediately.
The Home Ministry also ensured central paramilitary forces and Rapid Action Force personnel, stationed in various places in Uttar Pradesh, reach Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas as early as possible.
Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami contacted Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur and requested him to direct the Army to deploy military personnel from Meerut in riot-hit areas and conduct a flag march.
Central government officials are of the opinion that had the local administration arrested those who were involved in the August 27 attack and counter-attack, when three persons were killed, the situation would not have aggravated in such a manner, sources said.