Lucknow: As many as 408 people have been booked for murder in connection with the Muzaffarnagar riots while cases registered in the strife-torn district and adjoining areas were on Wednesday handed over to a Special Investigation Cell which will be supervised by an IGP (Crime).
IGP (Crime) Ashish Gupta was today made the officer in-charge to supervise the investigations at the state police headquarters here.
"IG (Crime) will be supervising overall probe, case-wise, at the headquarter level," IG (Law and Order) R K Vishwakarma said.
The officer said that besides 106 cases registered in Muzaffarnagar, other cases registered in adjoining districts were also handed over to the SIC.
"With this, 145 FIRs are being investigated by the cell," the IG said, adding that total number of accused in these 145 FIRs are 954, and in that 408 are facing murder charges.
A total of 253 people have been arrested and out of them 40 are murder accused, Vishwakarma said.
The officer also told reporters that security forces deployed in the troubled areas will not be pulled out. "The stay of 78 companies of paramilitary forces have been extended till September 30," the IG said.
Vishwakarma said that due to the upcoming festival season, a request will be made to further extend the deployment till October 17.
The UP government had yesterday formed SIC, led by Superintendent of Police (Crime) Muzaffarnagar Kavita Saxena to investigate the cases registered in connection with the riots.