Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday refrained from blaming the Akhilesh Yadav government for the communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district. He tempered his comments by saying, “I won’t blame anyone … these things [communal clashes] happen abruptly.”

He, however, pointed out that his Ministry had forewarned 11 States, including Uttar Pradesh, of the possibility of communal clashes ahead of the next general election.

“I won’t name the other States, but information about the possibility of political parties trying to create clashes was shared,” Mr. Shinde said on the sidelines of a function here.

The Centre had been proactive in trying to contain and normalise the situation in Muzaffarnagar and 80 companies of paramilitary and military forces had been sent.

The Minister urged political leaders to refrain from visiting areas in the grip of communal tension. “While I cannot comment on any political involvement, because I’d rather wait for the inquiry report … I appeal to the people to refrain from getting violent. And since the military and paramilitary forces are already working, political leaders should wait for a few days before visiting.”