Muzaffarnagar riots were well-planned: Azam Khan

Urban Development Minister Azam Khan had expressed unhappiness over the administrative failure to check the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar that claimed 47 lives.

Zee Media Bureau

Lucknow: Urban Development Minister Azam Khan, who had expressed unhappiness over the administrative failure to check the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar that claimed 47 lives, on Monday described the riots in the district as well-planned.

Azam Khan had also come under attack from colleagues for skipping a Samajwadi Party meet in Agra.

The party`s best known minority face, however, today came out in support of the state government and said: "Fascists in the country were bothered by the fact that Samajwadi Party is peacefully in power".
Khan, who enjoys the number two position in the Akhilesh Yadav government, said that the UP government has always maintained that there should be peace in the state. There is no question of showing leniency to those who are guilty, asserted Khan.

Slamming Dr Manmohan Singh`s visit to Muzaffarnagar, Khan noted that since General Elections are round the corner, the Prime Minister took the wise step by visiting the riot-affected area.

If the Prime Minsiter was so concerned about riot-affected victims, he should visit the sites of other communal riots in the state, like Faizabad, Mathura and Bareilly, where victims are still to get justice, added Khan.

Defending his government, which has come under flak for not doing enough to calm the situation, Khan said, "We have followed the law so far and will continue to. This is what has stopped the riots".

The Samajwadi Party leader also accused Narendra Modi of trying to polarise the Army with his comments at a rally in Haryana. On Sunday, Modi had hailed the armed forces` secularism and attacked UPA over a survey to know religion of the personnel "through the Sachar commission".
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who visited the Muzaffarnagar district yesterday, was greeted with black flags and slogan shouting by angry villagers.

So far, 47 people have been killed in the violence. The situation is fast returning to normal.

Around 40,000 people have taken refuge in more than 30 relief camps set up in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.

Kawaal village is where an alleged incident of sexual harassment on August 27 led to three youths being killed.

A `mahapanchayat` or gathering of village councils was held a few days later, which led to communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and nearby areas, forcing the government to call in the Army to control the situation.

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