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Saharanpur Riots: 38 arrested as 3 killed and 13 injured; Bharatiya Janata Party blames UP government for law and order failure

Monday, 28 July 2014 - 8:20am IST Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014 - 7:59pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk
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Uneasy calm prevailed in violence-hit areas of Saharanpur in Western Uttar Pradesh even as the district administration announced relaxation in curfew for a few hours on Monday. 38 people were arrested as a political blame game erupted with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing Samajwadi Party (SP) of indulging in "vote-bank politics" and the Congress blasting the Uttar Pradesh government for "lapses". The relaxation in curfew is aimed at allowing the local to buy necessities and would be done in phases across the sensitive areas of the city. The administration will take a call on further relaxation in curfew after taking stick of the situation today evening. Not wanting to take any chance, police and paramilitary personnel remain deployed in strength in trouble hit areas. Around 18 companies of additional force including eight of PAC, six of CRPF, two of RAF and two of ITBP are reportedly deployed in the troubled areas. Read more

Background
Violent clashes broke out on Saturday in Saharanpur between two communities over a land dispute in Saharanpur with the two sides indulging in brick batting and arson, leaving some persons injured and prompting authorities to impose curfew in the district. Two people lost their lives in the clash. The communal conflagration also resulted in nearly two dozen shops and vehicles being gutted in the Saharanpur area. DIG Saharanpur N Ravindra said the clashes started over an old dispute over a piece of land caught in litigation which was lodged between two places of worship. District police told media that they used force and even fired rubber bullets to control flare and tussle. Following the communal tension, district administration has imposed section 144 of the CrPC in Saharanpur area.  Even PAC and RAF have been deployed in the area to bring situation under control. 

The dispute
The roots of the violence find its place in a long standing land dispute in Saharanpur over a Gurudwara land near the railway station. The Gurudwara is adjacent to a large piece of land which the Sikh community had been taking care of for past so many years. Prior to the start of the violence, ‘lintel’ was dropped on this land in order to pursue some construction work. The Muslim community in that area objected to this alleging that the land belonged to them and so there cannot be any construction over it. The Sikhs refuted that the land being located adjacent to their Gurudwara and was rightfully theirs. Any talks between the two sides failed to reach a conclusion and violence broke out. The Sikhs from the area also alleges that the violence seemed to be pre-planned as Muslims from Moradabad and Muzzaparpur were also called in numbers. Gun shots were fired on the Sikhs and people with swords ran after the Sikh community in the region. Shops belonging to Sikh community in Nehru Market were set on fire by the angry mob.

Around 600 paramilitary force personnel have been sent to Saharanpur by the Central government to maintain law and order situation in the state. The decision to sent the paramilitary forces was taken after Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, official sources said. Singh had asked Yadav to ensure communal harmony in the state in the wake of violence in Saharanpur and offered all help to contain the situation. The Home Minister, who is personally monitoring the situation in Uttar Pradesh, had telephoned Yadav and expressed his concern over the violent clashes that broke out between two communities in the Western UP town. Read more 

The Uttar Pradesh police also took the help of drones to monitor the situation in Saharanpur, as per news reports on Sunday. Read more

ALSO READ: Saharanpur violence: Is Uttar Pradesh spiraling out of control?
With riots again breaking out in the communally sensitive Western UP area in Sahranpur near Muzzafarnagar, it is becoming increasingly clear that the communal and crime situation in UP is spiralling out of control. Read more 

Political reactions

Saharanpur riots: Bharatiya Janata Party says law and order failure responsible for Saharanpur violence

Hitting out at the Uttar Pradesh government over Saharanpur violence, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday alleged that that clash was a result of "administrative laxity" and "failure" of law and order in the state."Akhilesh government, which is blaming BJP and terming Saharanpur violence as a caste clash, must clarify that why it gets into denial mode after every incident," party spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak, told reporters here. Read more

Saharanpur riots: Akhilesh Yadav says stern action will be taken against guilty

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said those guilty of violent incident in Saharanpur district would not be spared and stern action would be taken against them. During a meeting with Punjab Assembly Speaker Charanjeet Singh Atwal here, Yadav said the state government was committed to provide justice and security to all residents. Read more

Saharanpur violence: SP leader Gaurav Bhatia warns BJP, alleges its behaviour is irresponsible

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Gaurav Bhatia, on Sunday attacked the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for what he alleged ' behaving irresponsibly' in Uttar Pradesh and gave a veiled warning about the state government getting tough to deal with those leaders who incite violence. Read more 

Congress leader Rashid Alvi sharpens attack on BJP, calls Saharanpur violence 'unfortunate'
Congress leader Rashid Alvi, on Sunday described the violence in Saharanpur as unfortunate, and also sharpened his attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for pushing the state into a vicious cycle of hatred. Commenting on the issue of violence between two communities in Saharanpur, Alvi told ANI: "It is very unfortunate that the BJP is creating such a tense situation. BJP was responsible in Kanth In Saharanpur also they are responsible. The BJP wants to push the state into a vicious cycle of hatred." Read more 

Rajnath Singh calls up Akhilesh Yadav; asks to ensure peace
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to ensure communal harmony in the state in the wake of violence in Saharanpur and offered all help to contain the situation.  Singh telephoned Yadav and expressed his concern over the violent clashes that broke out between two communities in the Western Uttar Pradesh town and asked the Chief Minister to take all possible steps to ensure peace in the state, particularly in Saharanpur, official sources said.

Rahul Gandhi calls for end to 'politics of hatred'
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called for an end to the "politics of hatred" in the country as communal tension flared up in Uttar Pradesh while his party accused BJP of carrying out "pre-planned communal polarisation". "I am deeply saddened to hear of clashes in Saharanpur. Violence, divisiveness and hatred have no place in our country. This politics of hatred must end. I appeal to every one to remain calm and refrain from fanning communal passions," Gandhi said in a statement. 

Saharanpur clashes: Uttar Pradesh government announces aid of Rs 10 lakh to kin of deceased
The Uttar Pradesh government tonight announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the three persons killed in clashes between two communities in Saharanpur. An official spokesman said that Rs 50,000 will be given to the injured. The state government has also sought a report of the entire incident from the district administration. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has termed the incident as "unfortunate" and said that those responsible will not be spared. The government also announced Rs 10 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the IAF helicopter crash in Sitapur district. Read more

ALSO READ: All you want to know about the Saharanpur riots in Uttar Pradesh
Violent clashes broke out in Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh on Saturday over a land dispute as groups of Muslims and Sikhs clashed on the streets in broad daylight. Authorities imposed curfew in the region to bring the situation under control after two persons were killed and at least 12 others injured in the clashes between the two communities over a land dispute. The early morning violent clashes broke out around 5 a.m. Five policemen were reportedly injured as the two sides indulged in brick batting and arson. The mob also burnt shops and vehicles. People with swords ran after Sikh community while the Sikh groups indulged in stone pelting in protest as the city witnessed violence, a day after the last Friday of holy month of Ramadan. Read more

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