Mulayam holds emergency meet on Muzaffarnagar violence

Lucknow, Sep 8 (IANS) Rattled by the communal flare-up in Muzaffarnagar which left 12 killed and more than three dozen injured, the top leadership of the Samajwadi Party (SP) went into a huddle in the state capital Sunday.

At a meeting convened at his residence, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is learnt to have expressed his displeasure at the inability of the state government in stopping the violence, despite the simmering overtones since Aug 27.

Sources told IANS that the SP chief was closely monitoring the situation on the ground after his arrival from New Delhi late Saturday.

It was at his behest that the army's help was sought to contain the spread of violence, which had found inroads into the countryside.

An SP leader said Mulayam Singh Yadav was miffed at the failure of the state police and gave a dressing down to home department officials, most of whom he had personally hand-picked when the SP government took over last year.

The SP chief is learnt to have told his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in no uncertain terms that "incidents like this would not only hurt the party prospects in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but also tar your image as an administrator".

Mulayam Singh Yadav, other than summoning police and home officials, also spoke to religious heads in western UP and asked them to appeal for calm. He also spoke on telephone with party leaders of western Uttar Pradesh and took feedback from them on the violence-hit areas.

Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani was present at the meeting and informed Mulayam Singh Yadav that he had issued advisories to district officials of possible communal tension in some parts of the state and asked them to take adequate steps. Officials, however, did not take this seriously, Mulayam was told.

The fact that 12 people lost their lives in the clash was a blot on the government Mulayam Sibgh Yadav said, and asked officials to take steps not only to douse the communal flare-up but to also ensure there was no repeat of such incidents.

-- Indo-Asian News Service

md/rr/vt

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