Six more bodies were found in the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh on Monday, raising the death toll in the communal violence to 38.
After Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde announced that he had forewarned about growing communal tensions in the district, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has decided to hold a high level cabinet meet on Tuesday to assess the crisis and decide on whether the President's rule needs to be imposed.
The Akhilesh government is under tremendous pressure of allegedly failing to control the communal clashes in the north-west district of UP. Despite the fact that 1,000 army personnel along with 38 companies of paramilitary forces on Sunday, the death toll rose more than a triple on Tuesday.
Social activist and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said, "DMs (district magistrate) & SSPs r squarely responsible for law & order in the district. They r the District Adm(inistration)! If they r afraid of being effective they better go!"
But former Director General of Police (UP) Vikram Singh said that no communal riots can take place in the state if government is determined to keep a check.
Moreover, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the Central government to impose President's rule in the state. "The communal atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh has been worsening under Samajwadi Party government. The law and order situation has gone from bad to worse," BJP President Rajnath Singh told PTI.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said he had forewarned the UP chief minister of the brewing communal tension hours before the riots began.
"On Saturday I spoke to the Chief Minister at 12:30 pm and told him we have information that the meeting is on and the situation is tense," Shinde told the news agency.
According to reports, 160 people have been arrested so far and 1,000 people are accused for causing violence.
At least half a dozen politicians, four of whom belong to BJP, are also accused of inciting violence through their provocative speeches.
Cases have been registered against BJP MLAs Hukum Singh, Suresh Rana, Bhartendu Singh and Sangeet Singh Som, former Congress MP Harendra Malik, and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait under Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act for making incendiary speeches at Jat Mahapanchayat in Kawal village on Saturday.
As per the curfew, no politician is now allowed to visit the riot-hit district. Authorities stopped union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, his son and even BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad from entering Muzaffarnagar on Monday.
Many are ready to blame the role of social media role in fuelling the violence in the north-west district.
Violence erupted on Saturday between two communities after three deaths on 27 August in Kawaal village. Police told Indian Express that a Muslim was killed in the village after a dispute and his alleged assailants, both Jats, were beaten to death. Tensions escalated after a video, showing two people being lynched to death by a mob, went viral on social networking sites.
"A video is also being circulated through Facebook and other networking sites to create tension. I want to tell you that the said video is probably over two years old and is of some other country. I appeal to people that they should not pay heed to it," said IG Crime Ashish Gupta. But there is no evidence as to how many even watched the video let alone planned to kill the people of a set community after watching it.
On Tuesday, ADG (law and order) Arun Kumar told ANI news that the situation is under control and officers are on alert.
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