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Muzaffarnagar riots: Death toll rises to 32, curfew continues

Muzaffarnagar riots: Death toll rises to 32, curfew continues

ADG Law and Order Arun Kumar said case has been files against over 1,000 people and over 160 have been arrested.

Muzaffarnagar: One more death has been reported in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh and the death toll has risen to 32 on Tuesday. Curfew remains in the place and the police have been issued shoot at sight orders. All markets and shops are shut and the Army and RAF are patrolling the area.

ADG Law and Order Arun Kumar said extra forces have been called in. Police have filed a case against over 1,000 people and over 160 have been arrested. A FIR is filed against four BJP MLAs and a former Congress MP.

"The situation is under control. There has been no incident since last night. Arrests are still being made. A total of 162 people have been arrested and 32 are confirmed dead," he said.

With tension running high in the area, the Centre had on Monday offered to provide additional paramilitary forces to Uttar Pradesh to assist the local administration in dealing with the situation. Top officials including the Saharanpur Divisional Commissioner SK Srivastava, DIG DC Mishra and Meerut IG Brijbhushan had been shunted out.

Meanwhile, under fire over the violence, the Uttar Pradesh government had transferred Muzaffarnagar SSP Subhash Dubey and Shamli SP Abdul Hamid. The Uttar Pradesh government had submitted its report to MHA, which says no untoward incident has been reported since Sunday afternoon, MoS Home RPN Singh said. "Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is in touch with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav," Singh had said.

"A lot of people have been asking for President's rule. It is unfortunate that UP has been rocked by communal violence but we wouldn't want to play politics. Whoever is responsible must be arrested, whether a politician or commoner," Singh had said.

Asserting that he had warned the Uttar Pradesh government on reports of escalating communal disturbances in the state, Shinde said, "IB has giving information to 11 states that there is likely to be communal disturbances. I spoke to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and told him that tension is rising and arrangements need to be made. He said he would."

Meanwhile, politics continued over the riots in the state. Yadav, under attack from Opposition parties for allegedly failing to control the riots in Muzaffarnagar, had said that his rivals only know how to criticise. He had accused the Opposition parties of a conspiracy ahead of the upcoming 2014 General Elections.

Demanding President's rule to be imposed in the state, BSP chief Mayawati had blamed the Akhilesh government for inaction and said that the CM acted only after the situation got out of control. "Life for people of UP has become even more difficult under SP rule. The SP government is fully responsible for what happened in Muzaffarnagar and nearby districts," Mayawati had said.

However, the CPM had blamed the Bhartiya Janta Party and the and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for the Muzaffarnagar violence. Four BJP MLAs along with a former Congress MP had been named in the FIR filed in relation to the Muzaffarnagar riots case. It is believed that the riots were followed by statements made by some leaders at a Mahapanchayat in the area.

Earlier in the day, many BJP and RLD leaders were detained while trying to enter the state. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad who was among the leaders who were detained had said that vote bank politics was being played even at such a crucial juncture. "We are going there with the message of peace, police stopped us from going there. Vote bank politics should be stopped," he had said while adding that action against 4 BJP MLAs has been taken under pressure.

Tensions began when three murders were reported near Shamli over an alleged molestation on August 27.

(With Additional Inputs From PTI)