UP govt failed to stop riots despite warning: Centre

Last Updated 16 September 2013, 12:40 IST

The Centre today came down heavily on Uttar Pradesh government for its alleged failure to prevent riots in Muzaffarnagar and said people of the state have lost complete faith in the Samajwadi Party dispensation.

Minister of State for Home RPN Singh, who accompanied Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to Muzaffarnagar, said the Akhilesh Yadav government did not act on Centre's warning about possible communal violence.

"The Central government had warned the UP government well in advance about the communal tension. The Home Minister (Sushilkumar Shinde) spoke to the Chief Minister. But they ignored the warning. The state government did not listen to the warning.
They even did not stop the (Jat) Mahapanchayat despite warning. You know, law and order is a state subject," he told reporters here.

Singh said during their visit, the riots affected people told the Prime Minister and the Central leaders that they have completely lost faith in the SP government as they have failed to provide security and stop the communal violence.

"It is extremely distressing to hear people telling the Prime Minister, UPA chairperson and Rahul Gandhi that they have completely lost faith in the state government. They said they felt secure only after arrival of central forces and the Army," he said.

The Minister said it was for the first time after Partition that such a large number of people - over 40,000 - are staying in relief camps in a single district due to riots.

Singh alleged that some political parties were trying to take advantage of the situation and some of them had even tried to whip up communal tension.

Asked about BJP's criticism of the visit of the Prime Minister and others, he said all of them went to Muzaffarnagar to share people's pain and grief and give an assurance that peace would be restored and normalcy would return.

"BJP does not want peace. They want to come to power through this kind of violence," he claimed.

Asked about the status of the proposed Communal Violence Bill, which is yet to be tabled in Parliament, Singh said little progress has been made due to opposition by several state governments.

"Whenever we speak of making a new law, some state governments always oppose it. They say Centre is interfering in their affairs. But we have been trying. We will try to get it passed in Parliament soon," he said.

(Published 16 September 2013, 12:40 IST)

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