'Azam Khan not upset': Mulayam

Agra, Sep 12 (ANI): Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday attempted to calm down the trouble brewing within his outfit following Mohammad Azam Khan's absence at the party's national executive meeting in Agra, saying Uttar Pradesh's Minority Welfare Minister can never be angry with him.

"I am the party president and Azam Khan is a minister. So, it would be better if you ask the chief minister as to why Khan did not attend the Cabinet (meet). Azam Khan can never be angry with me," he told the media here.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal earlier in the day asked his party chief to take tough action against Azam Khan over his failure to attend the party's national executive meeting in Agra.

"Nobody is above the party. If one individual in the party breaks discipline and he is given a chance, then there are many others who will follow the same, which is not appropriate for the party. 'Netaji' (Mulayam) should take tough action," he told media here.

Azam Khan, who is the Samajwadi Party's Muslim face, was absent from the party's national executive meeting on Wednesday. The Samajwadi Party, however, attempted to communicate a 'loud and clear' message that it was not going to give weightage to its senior leader.

"There are 106 national executive members, 26 were absent from the meet...it doesn't matter," Samajwadi Party General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav told mediapersons in Agra, while replying to a question.

The exact reason as to why Khan gave the meeting a miss is still not clear. Media reports, however, suggests that he is unhappy with the manner in which the district administration handled the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar.

Khan had also expressed his concern over the meeting of Mulayam Singh Yadav with VHP leader Ashok Singhal.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party chief also defended the Akhilesh Yadav Government over the Muzaffarnagar violence, and said that it has initiated strict action against the culprits.

"We have taken strict action against culprits and will continue to do so. We will take strict action against culprits, have arrested many such elements," Yadav said.

"Justice wasn't done in Gujarat, but I assure it will be delivered in Uttar Pradesh," he added, while taking a jibe at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The curfew has been relaxed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Muzaffarnagar city today. The concerned authorities say that the situation in the curfew-hit city and far-flung areas is fast returning to normal.

It is the third consecutive day of curfew relaxation, which is passing off peacefully. People in large number have come out from their houses. Besides making essential purchases for their families, they are also visiting friends and relatives.

The administration is keeping a strict vigil on every aspect of the violence hit areas including Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat and Meerut. Heavy deployment of army and paramilitary forces has been ensured to avert any untoward situation in the deep rural areas.

Scores of senior officials, including Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Arun Kumar and others, are constantly camping in trouble-hit Muzaffarnagar.

The Uttar Pradesh Government has constituted a one-member judicial commission to probe Muzaffarnagar violence, which claimed at least 40 lives.

The commission, which would mainly look into administrative lapses, if any, in controlling the violence, would submit its report to the government within two months.

Violence broke out in the Kawal area of Muzaffarnagar on Saturday when members of a community returning from a panchayat meeting in Naglabadhod, three kilometers from Kawal, clashed with members of another community. (ANI)


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