What's happening in Muzaffarnagar, centre asks UP

Lucknow, Sep 9 (IANS) Just hours after Governor B.L. Joshi sent a detailed report to New Delhi on the Muzaffarnagar conflagration, the union government Monday sought a report from Uttar Pradesh on the violence that has left at least 28 people dead.

Officials said that ministry of home affairs (MHA) has assured full support and has sought to know the ground assessment as well as the present condition.

The action comes hours after Governor B.L.Joshi shot off a detailed report to the centre detailing the sequence of events that led to the killings.

Refusing to share the contents of the report, a senior official, however, said that the governor "was of the view that the situation in Muzaffarnagar was grim and required prompt and serious action".

Samajwadi Party leaders admit that they were stumped by the "proactiveness of the governor".

Officials in the government admitted that the governor's promptness in passing off ground report to the centre also spurred the government in an action mode. This, they added, included transfer of senior officials and dispatching of competent police officers to the violence-hit areas.

Unconfirmed reports say that Joshi's report was terse and had put the Akhilesh Yadav government in the dock for "delayed action post riots and for not acting promptly on intelligence reports pre-riots".

A retired Indian Police Service (IPS) official, Joshi is learnt to be miffed at the delay in controlling the riots and the failure of the police to act on intelligence reports that communal tension was simmering in the area after a girl was teased Aug 7.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is learnt to have telephoned Joshi and apprised him of the ground situation.

Informed sources said that the governor dispatched a report to the union government after the army was called in to help the civil administration in controlling the flare-up.

Joshi, an affable man, enjoys great rapport with the young chief minister and the latter visits Raj Bhavan on "courtesy calls" quite often.

The fact that the governor acted independently and suo moto, many feel, was an indication enough that the violence had not gone down well with B.L. Joshi.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati Monday aired her disappointment that the governor acted late.

"I had met him two months back and sought recommendation of President's rule in the state but the governor had maintained long silence till now," she told reporters in New Delhi.

She, however, added that she was still not satisfied as Joshi should have sent a report for imposition of President's rule in the state.

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at mohit.d@ians.in)

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