Shinde hints at political hand behind UP flare-up

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Hinting at a political hand behind the communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Wednesday said more such incidents might be witnessed as the 2014 general elections approach.

"I cannot say about political conspiracies till I get a complete report about the violence (in Muzaffarnagar). But political parties could indulge in it," he told reporters here.

Shinde said the central government had warned 11 states about possible communal violence ahead of the general elections.

"As we approach the election, we may witness more such communal violence. We have alerted 11 states," he said.

Shinde said the situation in western Uttar Pradesh has improved considerably.

"Eighty companies (8,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces were deployed (in Uttar Pradesh). The army was also deployed. Curfew has been relaxed now. The situation is improving," he said.

No untoward incident was reported from Muzaffarnagar Tuesday as 975 people were arrested for their "direct or indirect" role in the communal violence that claimed nearly 40 lives.

The situation was tense but under control and curfew was relaxed for an hour, Shinde said.

Law and Justice Minister Kapil Sibal said: "At this moment we must look at healing people and getting people together."

"I hope and pray all political parties get together with the intention to heal rather than cut. We all are bereaved. We understand the grief of the people and hope for a harmonious situation soon," he said, on the sidelines of a function here.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh told reporters: "This (communal violence) has happened in other states like Bihar and Rajasthan also. I think we should be careful."

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