Normalcy returns to Muzaffarnagar but communities remain polarised

Nearly two weeks after communal riots ripped through Muzaffarnagar, normalcy is fast returning to this riot-torn district of Uttar Pradesh but fear and uncertainty hounds the residents of the area.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Muzaffarnagar: Nearly two weeks after communal tension ripped through Muzaffarnagar, claiming more than 45 lives and forcing thousands to flee their homes and take shelter in refugee camps, normalcy is fast returning to this riot-torn district of Uttar Pradesh but fear and uncertainty still hounds the residents of the area.

A fact-finding team, which visited Muzaffarnagar and the areas surrounding the district recently, observed a clear division among the residents here on communal lines. After reviewing the situation, the team has called for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the Muzaffarnagar riots and the causes behind it.

The team members were told by villagers about administrative lapses and the inaction on the part of the Samajwadi Party government that further complicated the situation and put the lives of hundreds of people in grave danger.

Aware of the situation, the Supreme Court yesterday said that it will supervise relief and rehabilitation for those who evacuated their village.

A local court has issued non-bailable warrants against a group of politicians from parties like the Congress, the BSP and the BJP and community leaders for inciting violence that led to riots in the area but no action has been taken by the state government against those accused so far.
While the Opposition has blamed the Samajwadi Party government for failing to stem the riots and held it responsible for the tragic loss of several lives, the Akhliesh Yadav government has called it a political conspiracy by the opposition.

Muslim community leaders have also joined the chorus calling for immediate resignation of the UP CM.

It is difficult for the authorities to conclude what led to the communal disturbances in the area as there are conflicting versions of what provoked the unrest.

The UP police, on its part, claim that the first wave of violence occured on August 27, when two Hindu Jat boys killed a Muslim man for stalking their sister, and were then murdered by a mob.
Though local officials banned public meetings to prevent community leaders and politicians from addressing Muslims and Hindus, the order was ignored.

Full-scale riots engulfed Muzaffarnagar and surrounding areas on September 07 when thousands of farmers who were on their way home from a meeting were attacked with knives and swords.

The attack on villagers triggered a retribution that saw over 40 people killed in the next 48 hours.

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