Zee Media Bureau
Saharanpur: With the district administration relaxing curfew imposed in the violence-hit western Uttar Pradesh town, Muslims in Saharanpur offered Eid prayers on Tuesday amid hope for a fast return to normalcy.
Curfew was relaxed from 7 am to 11 am in old city and from 3 pm to 7 pm in new areas of the city as the situation is improving in the city.
Large number of people gathered at the Idgah area and other mosques in the city to offer prayers but many of them rued they could not make preparations for the festival because of the law and order situation.
Also See: Saharanpur clashes
Yesterday, curfew was relaxed from 10 am to 2 pm in the new city and from 3 pm to 7 pm in the old town areas to allow people to buy their daily need items from markets which were directed to remain open.
However, security forces maintained a tight vigil during the curfew relaxation hours and kept a close watch on trouble-mongers to prevent any untoward incident.
Saharanpur District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said 68 people are under arrest for the riots.
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.”
However, a political blame game has erupted with BJP accusing Samajwadi Party of indulging in “vote-bank politics” and Congress blasting the UP government for “lapses.” Curfew and shoot-at-sight orders had remained in force on Sunday in the wake of clashes between two communities over a land dispute with some indulging in arson.
Three persons were killed in the violence on Saturday that also left 33 injured.