Asked if the central government would intervene after the violence claimed 28 lives so far, the minister said: "It is incumbent on the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that the situation is brought to normalcy and the perpetrators are brought to book." Law and order was a state government subject and if the centre is asked it would provide help, the minister said on the sidelines of an event in Delhi.

"I hope the state government will quickly take control of the situation," he added. Asked if the Akhilesh Yadav government was lax in tackling the situation in the state that spun out of control since three youngsters were killed on August 27 over a case of harassment, Tewari said this was not the time to criticise but to act to control the situation.

He said the media also had a duty by acting with responsibility in its reportage of the violence. Tewari's comments come in the wake of Uttar Pradesh Governor BL Joshi dashing off a letter to the union government, in which he is reported to have blamed the state government for failing to control the situation. Shoot-at-sight orders were issued on Monday in Muzaffarnagar district while cases have also been slapped against over 1,000 people.

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