Political blame game has begun over the violence in Saharanpur with Congress accusing the UP government of "administrative lapse" while BJP alleged that Samajwadi Party was indulging in "vote-bank politics".
Reacting to the charges, Samajwadi Party said there was an effort to "disrupt peace in the state" and that there was "no place for communalism, anti-social elements".
SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary said that if the opposition tried to do politics on the issue, then the law will take its own course.
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.
"There was confrontation between two communities and a place of worship is near the police station. If it is a fact that there was a court judgement and they sought help from the police, then it was the responsibility of the police to make both the sides sit down and find a solution.
"But letting the dispute fester... it's an administrative lapse and the local administration to some extent is responsible for this," Joshi said.
BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, "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."

20 people arrested so far, Drones used to monitor situation

20 people were arrested as curfew and shoot-at-sight orders remained in force in the city hit by clashes between two communities over a land dispute. Authorities are also using drones to monitor situation.

District Magistrate Sandhya Tiwari said, "The situation is better than Saturday. I have to just impose the law and order in the city and the situation is quite normal now."

Three persons were killed and 19 others, including policemen, injured in the clashes as mobs indulged in arson after which curfew was clamped and shoot-at-sight ordered.

Five policemen, a city magistrate, and 13 others were injured. A constable Shensar Pal was stated to be in serious condition in Chandigarh PGI after suffering a bullet injury.

On the land dispute, Tiwari said, "I'm not going into it... The construction is on hold."

She said 20 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

Police had fired rubber bullets to control the situation as mobs went on the rampage, setting several shops afire.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been invoked in the district and curfew was clamped in six areas, according to Commissioner, Saharanpur, Tanveer Zafar Ali.

Additional forces, including from PAC, CRPF, RAF and ITBP have been deployed in the troubled areas.

Trouble began when members of one community started construction work at the site in Kutubsher area, which was objected to by the other group.

Both the sides indulged in heavy brick-batting, arson and opened fire and there were reports of several shops being gutted in the clash, police said.

Saharanpur is nearly 170 km from national capital Delhi and 560 km from state capital Lucknow.


Latest News from State News Desk