The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to take immediate steps in association with the Centre to bring under control the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and ensure safe passage to people stranded in the conflict zone.
Taking into account the grim picture of riot affected areas projected by a group of lawyers whose family members were affected in it which has so far claimed 44 lives, the apex court dismissed the plea of UP government that no order be passed on the petitions for the time being.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam disapproved Akhilesh Yadav government’s stiff opposition to involve the Centre on the issue of law and order in the riot-hit districts.
“We feel that this court has to go into this aspect. We cannot dismiss the petitions in limini (summarily),” the bench, also comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi said while directing Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to file compliance report on the next date of hearing on September 16.
It directed the state government and the centre to take immediate steps to bring stranded people to a safe place and also rehabilitate them. The bench also directed the authorities to ensure that those injured are provided with immediate medical assistance.
Seeking the immediate intervention of the apex court in the matter, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam said the situation in the western districts of the state was grim as mobs had set ablaze many religious places, shops and houses and that the state government has failed to contain the situation.
He submitted that the people of that area had approached various authorities including the PMO but the situation has remained serious and tense since August 29.
Subramaniam said on approaching the Home Ministry, they were surprised at the response that they should get an order from the apex court for redressal of their grievances.
UP’s counsel Rajeev Dhawan opposed the petition saying that the petitioner is trying for imposition of President Rule. He said that the state government will get back to the apex court with its report on Monday.
He said probe into the violence will be done by a judicial commission set up by the state government.
The court was hearing PILs filed by a group of residents of riots affected areas and Supreme Court Bar Association for CBI inquiry into the incident.
They said the affected persons should be properly rehabilitated and the culprits behind the violence be brought to book.
The petitioners alleged that houses of around 20,000 people have been burnt and they must be provided temporary shelter and food and medicines be also supplied to the affected families.