Stating that no major incident of violence had been reported since Sunday afternoon, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma told reporters that curfew in the riot-hit areas would continue for at least another 48 hours. “We have arrested over a 100 people in connection with the riots. Orders have also been issued to revoke firearm licences in the region,” a police officer added.
The police officer said that among the worst affected are areas coming under the jurisdiction of the Fugana police station whose in-charge has been removed on account of dereliction of duty. While the station house officer of Bhora Kalan police station has also been shifted out, several heads high up in the hierarchy have also rolled, with four senior police officers — Inspector-General Meerut, Deputy Inspector-General Saharanpur, Senior Superintendent of Police Muzaffarnagar and Superintendent of Police Shamli — being transferred.
While the main city of Muzaffarnagar remained peaceful on Monday with people remaining behind closed doors due to the continuing prohibitory orders and heavy police presence, sporadic incidents of violence were reported in Shamli, Meerapur and other rural pockets. According to unconfirmed reports, a fresh round of violence erupted in Shamli late in the evening, raising doubts over the efforts being made by the administration to bring the volatile situation under control. Most of the leaders named in the FIR took part at a similar public meeting held in the Sikera police station area on August 31, four days after three young men were killed over an alleged eve-teasing incident at Kawal. “Not many people turned up that day, which led them to hold the second mahapanchayat on the premises of an inter-college on September 7. People in large groups, carrying swords and sticks, converged at the meeting and, soon thereafter, a motorcycle belonging to a Muslim local was torched. A Muslim young man was later stabbed to death in the same area,” said a police officer.
Atiq Khan reports from Lucknow:
The one-man inquiry commission appointed by the Uttar Pradesh government will conduct its probe into the sequence of events from August 27, 2013 — when three youths were killed in Kawal village — to September 9, 2013. State Home Secretary Kamal Sakjsena said the inquiry commission will identify the reasons behind the communal clashes and suggest measures to prevent such incidents.