Curfew lifted from riot-hit Muzaffarnagar after 10 days

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A security man keeps vigil at Kawal village from where the communal riot started, in Muzaffarnagar. PTI Photo
A security man keeps vigil at Kawal village from where the communal riot started, in Muzaffarnagar. PTI Photo

Muzaffarnagar, Sep 16 (PTI): Curfew was today lifted from all parts of riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, ten days after it was imposed, as the administration found the situation “conducive” for scaling down the high alert.

“The curfew has been removed from all areas of the district now. The situation is conducive and peaceful now. We also had VIP visits (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Prime Minister) and hence we took a decision in this regard. There will be no curfew from 7 pm today,” District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma told reporters here.

Night patrolling and intensified vigil will be on, he said, adding all schools in the district have opened and very soon a decision will be taken to de-induct Army columns which were out to maintain law and order.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Praveen Kumar said vigil will not be let down and force level would remain the same in order to avoid any toward incident, adding liquor shops in the area will also have to shut compulsorily by 7 pm.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, visited the violence-hit areas and promised “strictest punishment” to the perpetrators.

Singh appealed to all sections of the society to maintain peace and harmony and assured all help from the Centre to the state government to restore normalcy.

Singh, Sonia and Rahul visited a camp in Bassi Kalan village, where Muslims affected by violence have taken shelter. They also visited Jat-dominated Bawali and Khanjpura villages, which too have witnessed riots.

Sharma said few people from two villages have returned from the camps.

Curfew was first clamped in three police station areas of the district on September 7.

Kumar said that close to 20 Special Investigation Teams (SITs) have been constituted to probe the riot cases and some big arrests would be done in the next two days.

“We are conducting our investigations (into the riot cases). We have almost collected all evidence and we are now taking legal consultations and it will not take more than two days for us to finish this and act,” he said.

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