Mulayam decries comparison

Criticised from various quarters for his party’s poor handling of the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar that claimed 40 lives, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday rejected comparisons between the recent unrest with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The SP chief, whose party is in power in UP, said unlike the BJP government in Gujarat, the party would ensure stern punishment for the guilty in Muzaffarnagar unrest.

Mulayam was addressing the media after the conclusion of the two-day national executive meeting of his party at Agra and appeared upset as the media bombarded him with questions about the riots. He was heard telling scribes to ask questions on other issues.

“The Gujarat government did not take any action against the perpetrators of the riots. The UP government will ensure that the victims of the violence get justice and the people who are responsible for engineering the riots are punished,”  the SP supremo said.

Earlier, Mulayam had even refused to call the Muzaffarnagar unrest a religious incident, as it was a clash between the two communities (Jats and Muslims) and not between Hindus and Muslims.

His son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also reiterated that the government would ensure justice for the riot victims and would not spare anyone who was guilty.

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