Charging the Akilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh with failure to maintain law and order in Muzaffarnagar, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday said timely action was not taken, leading to “terrible loss” of life and property.

Addressing reporters a day after a delegation of the CPI(M) visited Muzaffarnagar, CPI(M) leader S.K. Saidul Haque said no decisive action was taken by the government even after three deaths were reported on one single day (August 27).

Subhashini Ali, the party's central committee member , who was also part of the delegation, said: “Despite the fact that on each day since August 27 until September 7, there were incidents of clashes, stoning, provocative speeches and mobilisation, nothing was done to intervene strongly.”

The CPI(M) said that despite the fact that the RSS and Hindutva forces had been active in the area for some time and raising divisive issues in a planned manner, they were given every opportunity to exploit the situation in the aftermath of August 27 with devastating effect.

Demanding the immediate arrest of all those charged with inciting violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas, the CPI(M) said the State government should ensure proper relief measures in the camps and immediate payment of compensation for those killed and injured without any discrimination. Measures must be taken by the administration to restore and maintain peace.

Responding to a question on whether there was involvement of political parties in the clashes, Mr. Haque said: “What was projected as a Khap Mahapanchayat, was actually attended by people not only from neighbouring districts, but also from as far as Uttarakhand and Haryana. All voices of moderation were immediately silenced.”

Pointing out that sexual harassment of young school and college-going girls was perceived as a major problem across communities, the delegation found that the perpetrators belonged to both communities. The problem was adversely impacting the education of girls.

“Unfortunately, this problem is being exploited by the Hindutva forces who are demonising the minority community as being responsible for this crime and alleging that girls belonging to the majority community are the victims,” the delegation said in its report.

“Our visit also confirmed that while there have been casualties in both communities, it is the minority community that has suffered immeasurably more in terms of loss of lives, homes, property and livestock,” the report said.