Saharanpur violence: Akali delegation meets Akhilesh  (UPDATED)


Lucknow / Chandigarh, July 28 (IANS): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Monday assured a Shiromani Akali Dal delegation that his government was committed to provide security and justice to all people in the state and compensation would be paid to the victims of the communal clash in Saharanpur town.

He also reiterated the resolve of the Samajwadi Party (SP) government to ensure that the people behind the violence, that left three people dead and over three dozen people injured, were brought to justice and punished as per law.

The delegation of Punjab’s ruling party that met the chief minister in Lucknow urged him to provide adequate compensation to Sikhs who became victims of the violence. They also urged him to ensure the safety of Sikhs and asked him to allow construction of the gurdwara as per the norms under the ambit of law, an Akali Dal spokesman said in Chandigarh.

The delegation comprised Rajya Sabha member and former union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Punjab Assembly Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal and former union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia.

Dhindsa said that Akhilesh Yadav told the delegation that the situation in the violence-hit town was under control.

The chief minister said that necessary action, keeping in mind the court verdict with regard to the land in question, will be initiated and that adequate compensation would be paid to those affected in the violent incidents, he added.

Afterwards, both sides expressed the hope that normalcy will soon return to Saharanpur and urged the people not to be carried away by rumours and work towards restoring peace and calm.

Violence broke out in Saharanpur Saturday after a verdict by the high court in a land dispute case led to some construction work on the land claimed by a gurdwara.

This led to a violent clash between two communities in which both sides pelted stones and fired at each other. Apart from the deaths, over four dozen vehicles and shops were gutted in the violence that followed.

Protests were held against the violence in some parts of Punjab and Jammu. Both union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal have spoken to Akhilesh Yadav about the incident.










Lucknow, July 28 (IANS) The situation in violence-hit areas of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where three people were killed in communal violence two days ago, continued to be tense Monday, forcing authorities to extend the curfew in some areas.

There were a few minor incidents of stone-pelting in some areas but the situation was by and large under control, police said.

Police and para-military personnel had been deployed in the sensitive areas of the city, district police chief Rajesh Pandey said.

Meanwhile, two senior police officials rushed to the city by the state government – ADG D.S. Chauhan and DIG Deepak Ratan – met district officials.

Satisfied at the efforts of the district administration, both officials, however, said they would continue to camp in the city till normalcy is restored.

The district authorities have sent a report to the home department and have sought guidelines on relaxing the curfew and other security arrangements with regards to the forthcoming festival of Eid.

As many as 38 people have been arrested since Sunday for the the mob violence.

Violence broke out in Saharanpur Saturday after a land dispute verdict by the high court led to some construction work on the land claimed by a local gurdwara.

Muslims in the locality took umbrage. People from both the communities pelted stones and fired at each other. Over four dozen vehicles and shops were gutted in the violence that followed.

Three people were also killed. Over three dozen people, including a police constable and a homeguard personnel, were injured, and many of them are critical, police said.

According to sources, the district administration was “still worried” about the prevailing tension on Janta road, Dholikhaal, Hasanpur and Ambala road where angry crowds hurled stones at policemen Sunday.

Lucknow (IANS): Two people were killed as violent clashes broke out Saturday in Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh over a land dispute. Two groups fought pitched battles and burnt several vehicles, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who assured him that the situation would be contained soon.

[According to the Hindustan Times newspapert: “The rampage reportedly continued for several hours. “They broke shutters, torched shops and vehicles and fearlessly roamed around the area for hours,” said Amanpreet Singh, a member of the Guru Singh Sabha. The sabha claims the plot belongs to the gurdwara near which it is located while the Muslims call it a holy spot for the community. The matter is in court.”]

The situation continued to be tense till late Saturday, as heavy security was deployed by the state government, officials said.

Over a dozen policemen were also injured in the violence. Curfew continues in a few areas under six police stations.

Police have arrested over a dozen people for inciting violence over a land dispute and sources in the home department said the tense situation was now under control.

Eight companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), six of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and two companies of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were deployed in the violence-hit areas.

Rajnath Singh spoke to Akhilesh Yadav about the violence, and sources said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister assured the union home minister that the situation would be brought under control soon.

Yadav has sought a detailed report on the clashes that left two dead, from the Director General of Police (DGP) A.L. Banerjee and Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan.

A team of home department and senior police officials also briefed the chief minister on the day’s developments.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also spoke to Akhilesh Yadav and expressed concern over the incidents that unfolded in Saharanpur during the day.

Violent clashes erupted in Saharanpur and the national highway connecting Ambala was thrown out of gear as protesters went on a rampage.

District officials said curfew was clamped in the urban areas of the district after over two dozen shops and vehicles were gutted in the violence.

Sources said the brawl began with a verbal spat over a gurdwara and some construction taking place adjacent to it.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress leaders condemned the violence and slammed the state government for its failure to control the law and order situation in the state.

The BJP’s state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said it was most unfortunate that while the state government did not miss any opportunity to blame his party for any communal tension, the government’s failure to check small incidents was at the root of all troubles in the state.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in a statement in New Delhi expressed his sadness at the communal clashes in Saharanpur.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the clashes in Saharanpur,” Gandhi said.

Tension also brewed in Kanth area of Moradabad district as the BJP refused to back out of its proposed protest against district officials for “victimising its cadre”.

Heavy security was deployed and all entry points leading to the area were barricaded. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 (banning unlawful assembly) were clamped, officials said.

Around 500 Congress workers, including Dalit leader Madhusudan Mistry, state unit chief Nirmal Khatri and actress Nagma were detained Saturday for violating prohibitory orders banning their entry into Kanth town of Moradabad. Police released them after about five hours.

The Congress leaders were detained at the UP Gate on the Delhi border in Ghaziabad, after intelligence sources said the presence of Congress members in Kanth could disturb communal harmony in the area which is still sensitive after recent violence following the removal of a sound system at a temple.

The situation in Kanth has been tense since early July when acting on the complaints of the local party legislator, police had pulled down loudspeakers from a village temple. It was alleged that police entered the temple with their shoes on. This led to violent protests from the villagers, most of whom are Dalits.