Hit-and-run goons keep tension alive

Sporadic attacks prevent return to normalcy

Hit-and-run tactics adopted by miscreants in Muzaffranagar town are proving to be the biggest obstacle faced by the administration in restoring complete normalcy in the district, which has witnessed over half a dozen killings and scores of attacks even after the situation was officially declared to be normal.

According to district officers, the ‘guerrilla’ type attacks have emerged as a new headache for the authorities, which were already “stretched to the limits’ in their efforts to maintain peace in the communally sensitive district.

Masked men

The officers said there have been several reports of attacks in different parts of the district allegedly by people with masks on their faces.

“In most of cases, the attackers opened fire after asking the names of the victims and escaped,” they said.

Deliberate attempt

District officers said there appeared to be a ‘deliberate attempt’ to disturb communal amity in the district.

At least half a dozen incidents of attacks were reported a day before the Eid festival. Some miscreants also allegedly desecrated a place of worship at Mansoorpur village on the eve of the festival after which tension prevailed there. 

But timely intervention by police defused the situation and prevented a possible clash.

Sources said seven people had so far been killed in the district in what people alleged were communal attacks after the withdrawal of curfew and situation was declared to be completely normal.

Officers fear that the attacks and tension would deter the thousands of displaced people, who have been living in relief camps after fleeing from their homes during the communal violence last month, from returning home.

Despite all the attempts by the administration, a majority of the people have refused to leave the relief camps and return to their homes, saying  they might face attacks there.

At least 50 people were killed and over 100 injured in the communal riots that had rocked Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Shamli districts in the region last month.

Local authorities have been trying to create an atmosphere of amity and goodwill by holding meetings of the two communities after the riots. 

Such incidents could once again vitiate the atmosphere and impact the efforts to normalise the situation, officials said.

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