Security Forces Keep Vigil on Riot-hit Bareilly, No Violence

Security Forces Keep Vigil on Riot-hit Bareilly, No Violence
Security forces today staged marches while a chopper kept an aerial vigil on this riot-torn city, which was made out of bounds to a BJP team led by MP Maneka Gandhi by the state authorities.

"Though the situation is tense, it is completely under control and no incident of clash or violence has been reported from any part of the city since morning," official sources here said.

However, as a preventive measure, curfew clamped on the city on March 2 in the wake of communal clashes over a religious procession, has not been relaxed in five of the six police station areas including Prem Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Kotwali, Baradari and Qila, they said, adding that aerial monitoring was being done regularly to deal with emergencies.

Security forces including Rapid Action Force and police marched in the trouble-hit areas of the city this morning.

Meanwhile, a three-member BJP team led by MP Maneka Gandhi was prevented by Uttar Pradesh authorities from going to the city hit by communal violence.

Lashing out at the UP government, Maneka, who was stopped in Ghaziabad but later allowed to proceed with police escort to Badaun, 250 km from Bareilly, accused the Mayawati Government of "engineering the riots" and taking "one sided action to appease a particular community".

Another member of the team, Gorakhpur MP Yogi Aditynath was asked to get to down from Gorakhpur-Bareilly Express train in Barabanki, near Lucknow at around 3 AM, officials said. He was taken to a state guest house and later sent back.

Meerut MP Rajendra Agarwal was stopped in Rampur district which shares its border with Bareilly.

Accusing the police of harassing her on the directions of the state government, Maneka said in Badaun that she was stopped in Ghaziabad.

"There was a written order for not allowing me to enter Bareilly... No reason was given" the BJP leader from UP said.

"Only when I said that I would raise the issue before the Lok Sabha Speaker, we were allowed to reach Badaun," she told reporters.

"There are ten police jeeps to prevent me (from entering Bareilly)," she said.

Claiming that tension between two communities was not the reason behind communal riots in Bareilly, she said, "Poor law and order situation in UP is responsible for communal riots."

Referring to a Muslim cleric, she alleged that while the person responsible for inciting the clashes was released, the District Magistrate and SSP, who were working honestly and diligently, were removed without delay.

Holding the Uttar Pradesh government and police responsible for riots in Bareilly, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav slammed arrest of Sunni cleric Tauqeer Raza Khan.

"It's an insult that a prominent ulema and leader like Maulana Tauqeer Raza Ahmad, who has done a lot in a social sector, was arrested and jailed," Yadav told reporters in Lucknow. Ahmad was released from custody on March 11.

Around 30 shops were allegedly torched in Qutubkhana sabzi mandi, one of the oldest markets in the city yesterday.

However, the district administration later claimed that the fire broke out due to short circuit.

Curfew was clamped in the city on March 2 following communal clashes over a barawafat procession. Since then sporadic incidents of violence and arson had been taking place at different places in the city.

After large scale violence on Friday in which several shops and vehicles were torched by a mob, heavy force has been deployed throughout the city to avert further trouble.

Maneka alleged that while those, who torched shops and houses were released, her supporters were still in jail for burning an effigy.

"Why members of a particular community came out with weapons on Holi. Such things do not happen without cause, people were provoked to do so," she alleged.

Later in the day, a peace procession was taken out in Bareilly with prominent people from different walks of life taking part in it.

Meanwhile, local BJP MLA Rajesh Agarwal and former party MP Santosh Gangwar demanded a judicial probe into the communal clashes and removal of the divisional commissioner charging him with a partisan approach and helping a particular community.

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