With the situation improving in violence-hit Saharanpur, the district authorities today relaxed curfew for four hours in the new city area to allow people to buy their daily need items from markets which were directed to remain open.
As the situation has shown improvement, curfew was being relaxed from 10 AM to 2 PM in the new city and from 3 PM to 7 PM in the old town areas, District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said "This is being done to allow people to pick up their items of daily need from the markets," she told reporters here. Tiwari said security forces have been asked to maintain a tight vigil during the curfew relaxation hours and keep a close watch on trouble-mongers to prevent any untoward incident.
She said a lot of people contacted the authorities last night as certain rumours had been spread but "more than 96 per cent of the incidents were not found to be true".
An uneasy calm had prevailed yesterday in Saharanpur where 38 people were arrested as a political blame game 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. 22 shops were gutted or damaged and 15 four-wheelers torched in the incidents, according to Tiwari.
Meanwhile, 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."