PM, Sonia, Rahul meet family of journalist killed during Muzaffarnagar violence

Muzaffarnagar, Sept 16 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi consoled family members of journalist Rajesh Verma who was killed during the Muzaffarnagar riots.

Verma lost his life while covering the clashes between two communities, which claimed at least 40 lives.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Singh on Monday assured the Centre's full support to the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh Government in tackling the situation arising out of the Muzaffarnagar violence, and said the guilty must be punished.

"I, Soniaji and Rahul Gandhi have come here to join you in your pain and sorrow and to make an assessment of the incident. This is a very tragic incident,and whoever is responsible for this, must be duly punished. It is the duty of the government to safeguard life and property so that people can once again settle in their homes," he told media at Bassi Kalan.

Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh is also accompanying the Prime Minister.

Dr. Singh earlier interacted with the victims along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and consoled them.

The Congress leaders will also be visiting the hospitals where the injured are admitted.

Expressing his grief and shock over the loss of innocent lives, Dr. Singh had assured Chief Minister Yadav that the Centre will extend all required assistance to the state government in tackling the situation.

The visit of the Congress top brass to Muzaffarnagar comes a day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited the riot-hit district and ssured people that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the disturbances.

He also said that one family member of those killed would be given a government job.

The Chief Minister has already sanctioned 10 lakh rupees of relief for the families of those killed.

Meanwhile, the situation in the affected areas of the state is limping back to normal. No incident of violence was reported yesterday when day curfew was relaxed.

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 the Muzaffarnagar violence.

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 earlier this month when members of a community returning from a panchayat meeting in Naglabadhod, three kilometres from Kawal, clashed with members of another community. (ANI)

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