Curfew relaxed for 4 hours in Saharanpur, Rajnath Singh says situation fully under control
Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the situation in Saharanpur was "fully under control" as curfew was relaxed in sensitive areas of the city.
The relaxation in curfew was aimed at allowing the locals to buy necessities. Curfew was relaxed from 10am to 2pm in the new city and from 3pm to 7pm in the old town areas, district magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said.
"This is being done to allow people to pick up their items of daily need from the markets," she told reporters here.
Rajnath Singh informed scribes of the state of affairs in Saharanpur, and said, "Saharanpur situation is fully under control. We are keeping a close vigil."
Security forces maintained a tight vigil during the curfew relaxation hours and kept a close watch on trouble-mongers to prevent any untoward incident.
Not wanting to take any chance, police and para-military personnel remained deployed in strength in trouble hit areas.
Around 18 companies of additional force including eight of PAC, six of CRPF ,two of RAF and two of ITBP are reportedly deployed in the troubled areas.
Three people were killed and 33 severely injured in Saturday`s violence that broke after a court verdict on a land dispute led to some construction work on the land claimed by a local gurdwara.
Muslims in the locality opposed it and claimed that the land remained disputed. Soon a mob gathered at the spot and people from both the communities pelted stones and fired at each other.
The mob also torched many vehicles and shops in the area.
A total of 38 persons have been arrested for inciting violence, more arrests are expected.
The Uttar Pradesh government said it would charge the riot accused under the stringent National Security Act.
Saharanpur Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandey said one person who had "instigated" the violence has been identified.
"We have not arrested him yet, but we are hopeful that we will catch hold of him very soon," he said, noting that the individual has been charged with rioting, arson and conspiracy.
He said, "We will undertake a detailed investigation and only then we can say whether it is a grand design or some thing else is behind the scene."
Meanwhile a political blame game has begun over the issue. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Kalraj Mishra accused the ruling Samajwadi Party of indulging in "vote-bank politics" and said it appeared that the riots were preplanned.
Citing Rahul Gandhi`s earlier claim that ISI was active in Muzaffarnagar riots, Mishra said that the same was true for Saharanpur as well.
The Samajwadi party has hit back by dragging the RSS in to the issue. Senior SP leader and minister in the Akhilesh governmet, Azam Khan alleged that plans to endanger peace in UP were being hatched in the Nagpur headquarters of the RSS.
While blasting the UP government for "lapses", the Congress has also chosen to blame the BJP. "It is very unfortunate that the BJP is creating such a tense situation. BJP was responsible in Kanth in Saharanpur also they are responsible. The BJP wants to push the state into a vicious cycle of hatred," senior party leader Rashid Alvi said.
The Centre is also keeping a close watch on the situation with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh having reportedly briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the situation in Saharanpur.
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