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Saharanpur tense, 38 arrested after clashes; Congress leader named in FIR

Jul 28, 2014 08:26 AM IST India India

Saharanpur: The situation in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh continues to be tense which witnessed violent communal clashes on Saturday resulting in the death of three people and leaving 33 others injured. Thirty-eight people have been arrested so far following the clashes between two communities over a land dispute.

Nine FIRs has been filed in the case. Local Congress leader Pappu Ali has been named in the FIR but is yet to be arrested.

Curfew under Section 144 CrPC and shoot-at-sight orders are still in place. Curfew could be lifted for a few hours on Monday to allow locals to buy the basic necessities.

Local leaders have demanded that the curfew be completely lifted before Eid on Tuesday but a call on it will be taken later in the day. Schools will, however, remain shut till July 30.

In order to monitor the situation and keep a watch on the city, authorities are using drones. According to Uttar Pradesh intelligence sources, local authorities were notified of the possibility of clashes in the city, but no additional forces were brought in to control the situation.

Trouble began when members of one community started construction work at the site in Kutubsher area in the early hours on Saturday, which was objected to by the other group. Both the sides indulged in heavy brick-batting, arson and opened fire, police said.

The violent clashes have also hit local business with several shops being burned down as mobs indulged in arson on Saturday.

Paramveer Singh, a local businessman, had put in his life's savings to set up a modern tyre shop. He had hoped a major tyre firm would give him a dealership. But within months of the shop being built, Paramjeet has lost it all, Rs 20 lakh burned down in only a matter two hours in Saturday's violent clashes.

Singh said, "I don't know what to do now."

The Sikhs in Saharanpur came after the partition and since then, they have become a thriving business community. While some are mango traders, others have showrooms and automobile shops.

Another local, who had one of the biggest electronic showrooms in the city, saw his shop razed to the ground.

He said, "We have lost it all. I don't know what I will do. I had worked 16-17 years to reach here but now all is lost."

While compensation was announced for those who were killed and injured in the clashes in Saharanpur, nothing was announced for those who lost their property.