Lucknow: Shoot-at-sight orders were issued Monday in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district as the toll in communal clashes climbed up to 28. Cases were slapped against 1,000 people while the governor sent a report to the centre blaming the state government.
With violence in Muzaffarnagar refusing to abate in many rural areas, the district administration Monday gave shoot-at-sight orders against rioters, officials said. Three senior police officials were also transferred.
The toll in the Saturday’s communal clashes has climbed up to 28.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Arun Kumar told IANS that cases have been slapped on 40 identified people and 1,000 “unknown” people for their involvement in inciting mobs and for being involved in the riots.
Violence started in the district when some people pelted stones at a bus carrying people to a “mahapanchayat” where elders of two religious groups were meeting to sort out the simmering tension between the two communities ever since three youngsters were killed Aug 27 over a case of harassment.
The officials who have been transferred include Phugna police station’s Inspector Omveer Sirohi, the deputy inspector general of Saharanpur, the inspector general of police (IG) of Meerut, and Divisional Commissioner S.K. Srivastava. They have been replaced by other senior officials.
In yet another embarrassment for the beleaguered Akhilesh Yadav government, UP Governor B.L. Joshi early Monday shot off a report to the union government in which he is reported to have blamed the state government for failing to control the situation.
Home department officials said the situation was “very tense” and the district administration along with the army was trying to contain the situation and bring back normalcy.
The district administration has also banned entry of any political leaders into Muzaffarnagar. More than 40 people who have been injured are being treated in hospitals. The condition of two of them is stated to be critical.