'Meerut, adjoining areas prone to communal violence'

'Meerut, adjoining areas prone to communal violence'

Communally sensitive districts in the western region of Uttar Pradesh could face fresh communal violence in the days to come if corrective measures are not taken, intelligence agencies have warned.

According to police sources here, the intelligence agencies in their report have warned of violence in Meerut, which is the neighbouring district of Muzaffarnagar, and also in some of the other adjoining districts.

Sources said the security arrangements in Meerut are grossly inadequate and a communal flare-up could take place ‘anytime’.

The report has also warned of fresh violence in Muzaffarnagar where curfew was lifted on Tuesday after normalcy returned.

Delay in action

The report, according to sources, has blamed delay in police action for the large-scale violence. The local intelligence officials in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut have also suggested deployment of adequate forces in the communally sensitive districts keeping in view that Durga Puja is approaching.

“Communal violence had erupted in the past in sensitive towns during the Durga Puja so a flare-up cannot be ruled out,” an official  said. Clashes between the two communities had taken place in Faizabad and Bareilly towns during Durga Puja festival.

On many occasions, the trouble had started following a dispute over playing of music when the members of a particular community were holding prayers.

The officials have also said that the police should act fast and apprehend the culprits behind the Muzaffarnagar riots lest the anger among the people could spill onto the streets. The rural areas are more vulnerable, they said.

According to sources, tension still simmers in the rural areas in Muzaffarnagar and Meerut in the Jat dominated villages.

“The people in these villages were sore over what they allege apathy by the officials in providing them relief,” said a local official.

Officials also said the large number of people living in the relief camps was also a cause of concern. Their continued presence at the relief camps could foment trouble, they pointed out.

Senior police officials here said they were formulating a strategy to maintain peace in the state during the forthcoming festive season.