38 Arrested, Curfew Remains in Force in Saharanpur
SAHARANPUR: An uneasy calm prevailed today in violence-hit 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 remained in force for the second day in the wake of clashes between two communities over a land dispute with some indulging in arson.
"38 persons have been arrested in connection with the incidents of violence," Saharanpur District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari told reporters.
"The situation is moving towards normalcy," she said, adding, three persons were killed in the violence that also left 33 injured.
She said 22 shops were gutted or damaged and 15 four- wheelers torched in the incidents.
Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukul Goel said in Lucknow, "No fresh incident has been reported since yesterday. Curfew is in force and is being enforced strictly."
He said steps were being taken to normalise the situation at the earliest. "It has been directed that action should be taken against whosoever is found guilty," he said.
The violence triggered a political blame game with BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain saying, "The UP government has completely failed to run the administration in the state. The people ruling the state themselves want that there is communal tension so that they do vote-bank politics.
"BJP wants amity and peace. Every person has the right to worship and nobody has the right to interfere in that. But Akhilesh Yadav's government is weak on every front. A message has gone that there is nothing called government in the state. Whenever there are such tense situations, the government proves to be incompetent."
Blaming the local authorities for "administrative lapse", Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that if it was a fact that there was a court judgement on the issue and police help was sought by one side, then it was the responsibility of the officials to find a solution by making both sides understand that the court order must be implemented.