Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav got a taste of the prevailing anger and resentment in the riot-torn Muzaffarnagar district when he visited on Sunday to meet the victims and get a first-hand assessment of the situation there.
According to reports, Akhilesh had to face a hostile crowd, which also waved black flags at him, at the Kaval village in the district, which was his first stopover in the visit.
“He got time to visit us after so many days. He did not meet the victims. He met only two people. He also did not accept our memorandum,” said the angry villagers after Akhilesh had left the venue.
People shouted slogans against the chief minister as soon as he arrived at the village to meet them.
Incidentally the communal flare-up was caused in the district by an incident that had taken place at the Kaval village itself on August 27.
The chief minister also visited other affected areas and met people who had fled from their homes and taken shelter at relief camps. “The government will make sure that the rioters are punished,” Akhilesh told reporters after the visit.
He also promised all help to the victims in building their houses, and said that the government would also provide jobs to one person from the families whose members have been killed in the violence.
Police officials said that the situation was improving fast in Muzaffarnagar town, and day curfew had been completely lifted.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to visit Muzaffarnagar on Monday. It was not clear if Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would also accompany him.
At least 47 people were killed and over 100 injured in the communal violence which was sparked off when a member of a particular community was beaten to death by a frenzied mob of another community during a “mahapanchayat” (meeting), which was organised to protest the killing of two youths by members of a particular community a few days ago at Kaval village in the district.
Tension had been simmering in the district after the two youths were killed on August 27. They had killed a youth of another community over an incident of eve-teasing.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union had convened the mahapanchayat to register protest against the killings.