BJP corners Sonia, Rahul for not visiting Muzaffarnagar

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who is the Congress vice-president, are expected to visit trouble-torn Muzaffarnagar district next week.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi for not visiting riot-hit Muzaffarnagar despite the two being Members of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, targeting the Congress-led UPA Government, said even the Centre has not issued any advisory, post the Muzaffarnagar communal violence.

"Neither the Central Government has issued any advisory nor are its big leaders who visited Gujarat during the 2002 riots being seen today. Soniaji and Rahulji are the representatives of Uttar Pradesh in the Parliament, but still they haven`t paid a visit (to Muzaffarnagar)," she told a news agency here.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who is the Congress vice-president, are expected to visit trouble-torn Muzaffarnagar district next week to assess the situation there.

Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today defended the Akhilesh Yadav Government over the Muzaffarnagar violence, and said that it has initiated strict action against the culprits.

"We have taken strict action against culprits and will continue to do so. We will take strict action against culprits, have arrested many such elements," he told media in Agra.

Meanwhile, the curfew was relaxed from 10 am to 5 pm in Muzaffarnagar city today. The concerned authorities say that the situation in the curfew-hit city and far-flung areas is fast returning to normal.

It is the third consecutive day of curfew relaxation, which is passing off peacefully. People in large number have come out from their houses. Besides making essential purchases for their families, they are also visiting friends and relatives.

The administration is keeping a strict vigil on every aspect of the violence hit areas including Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat and Meerut. Heavy deployment of Army and paramilitary forces has been ensured to avert any untoward situation in the deep rural areas.

Scores of senior officials, including Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Arun Kumar and others, are constantly camping in trouble-hit Muzaffarnagar.

The Uttar Pradesh Government has constituted a one-member judicial commission to probe Muzaffarnagar violence, which claimed at least 40 lives.

The commission, which would mainly look into administrative lapses, if any, in controlling the violence, would submit its report to the government within two months.

Violence broke out in the Kawal area of Muzaffarnagar on Saturday when members of a community returning from a panchayat meeting in Naglabadhod, three kilometres from Kawal, clashed with members of another community.