Curfew relaxed for four hours in Saharanpur



Curfew was Monday relaxed for four hours at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh following easing of tension in the city, which witnessed communal clashes Saturday, officials said.

Curfew was eased between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the new city while it was relaxed from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the old city, so that people could buy essential items like milk, vegetables and medicines, an official told IANS.

Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces, however, continued, a district official said. He added that security had been scaled up as Id-ul-Fitr is being celebrated Tuesday.

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

The union home ministry Monday said it had received a detailed report of the violence and was in touch with the state government.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held a meeting to take stock of the situation.

He had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday and briefed him on the violence. In the 30-minute meeting, both leaders were learnt to have shared their concern over the rising number of incidents of communal nature in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, two senior police officials ADG D.S. Chauhan and DIG Deepak Ratan, who had been ordered by the state government to rush to the affected area, met district officials.

Though satisfied at the efforts of the district administration, both, however, said they will 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 curfew and other security arrangements regarding Id festival.

As many as 38 people have been arrested since Sunday in connection with the mob violence.

Violence broke out Saturday after a land dispute verdict by the high court led to some construction work on the land claimed by a 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 were critical, police said.

The administration is "still worried" about the prevailing tension on Janta Road, Dholikhaal, Hasanpur and Ambala Road where angry crowds hurled stones at policemen Sunday. - IANS