Situation tense in Saharanpur

July 28, 2014 - 12:00:00 am
Protesters shout slogans in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh yesterday.

LUCKNOW: Authorities yesterday deployed drone cameras in curfew-bound Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, a day after three people were killed and over a dozen critically injured in communal violence.

Police officials said the situation in Saharanpur city was under control but tense although there had been no major incident of violence since late Saturday night. 

A curfew clamped Saturday in six police station areas of Saharanpur remained in force, an official said.

Violent clashes erupted between Sikhs and Muslims on Ambala Road over a land dispute. 

It quickly spread in the city, leading to arson. Groups of mostly young people fought pitched battles on the streets, using stones and bricks as weapons.

Several vehicles were burnt in the frenzy, gun shots were fired and business establishments were targeted. An official said any decision to relax the curfew in the city of seven lakh people would be taken by the home department and the police. 

With an injured man succumbing to injuries, the death toll in the clashes now stands at three, officials said.

The condition of over a dozen injured, mostly with gun shot wounds, is critical, officials said. They include a police constable and a Home Guard. 

Security forces, meanwhile, deployed drone cameras to keep a vigil on “mischievous elements”.

About two dozen people have been arrested.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has sent two senior officials to camp in the violence-hit city and oversee the security arrangements. 

Paramilitary forces, including the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Reserve Police Force and Rapid Action Force, were deployed after Akhilesh Yadav spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on telephone.

The maximum deployment has been done in areas where the population is a mix of Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus.

Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal yesterday called up Akhilesh Yadav to seek the latter’s intervention to ensure safety of Sikhs living there.

Calling the violence as “very unfortunate”, Badal urged the Sikh community to maintain peace and communal harmony. He urged the Sikh and Muslim community to maintain peace, communal harmony and brotherhood.

“This politics of hatred must end. I appeal to everyone to remain calm and refrain from fanning communal passions,” he said in the statement here.

Earlier, he called up Akhilesh Yadav and urged him to take every step to maintain law and order. He also asked him to ensure safety and security of Sikhs and other communities. Badal said that a delegation of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee had left for Saharanpur to take a stock of the situation.