No relaxation of curfew
Congress trying to politicise situation: SPState erred in its duty to control violence: Jaiswal
LUCKNOW: Union Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal was on Thursday denied permission to enter Gorakhpur town, which was rocked by communal violence recently. He had to return from the air force base on Kushinagar Road, about 15 km from Gorakhpur.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had sent him to Gorakhpur to assess the law and order situation.
On reaching Lucknow, Mr. Jaiswal warned the Uttar Pradesh Government that if the situation in Gorakhpur and neighbouring areas was not brought under control, the Central Government would exercise options available under the Constitution.
The State Government and the Gorakhpur district administration erred in their primary duty to control violence, the Minister said.
The very fact that violence prevailed for five to six days called for immediate remedial measures.
Mr. Jaiswal said the Centre had despatched 20 companies of paramilitary forces and Rapid Action Force to the violence-hit areas.
It was ready to extend more assistance to the State Government, including more companies of paramilitary forces.
He later participated in a peace march, organised by the Congress in the State capital.
The ruling Samajwadi Party condemned Mr. Jaiswal's visit. Agriculture Minister Ashok Bajpai criticised the Union Minister and the Congress for trying to politicise the Gorakhpur communal violence. He said the Union Minister could visit Gorakhpur once normality was restored.
Meanwhile, no untoward incident was reported from Gorakhpur on Thursday. Home Secretary Arun Sinha said there was no relaxation of curfew in Tewaripur, Rajghat, Gorakhnath and Kotwali police station areas, though essential commodities were distributed to people under police supervision.
Mr. Sinha said around 100 persons were arrested in Ballia district where supporters of Yogi Adityanath issued a bandh call. They were released later.
He said 12 persons, including two State Roadways employees, were arrested in Maharajganj for torching a bus parked in the depot on Wednesday night. Eight other persons were arrested for arson in Kotwali police station area of Maharajganj town, he added.