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Muzaffarnagar clashes: Death toll climbs to 31; PM speaks to UP CM

Muzaffarnagar clashes: Death toll climbs to 31; PM speaks to UP CM

Lucknow: The death toll in the violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas has mounted to 31.

"The death toll in the violence in Muzaffarnagar and other areas has climbed to 31," principal secretary, home, R M Srivastava told PTI.

District magistrate Kashal Raj Sharma said one person was stabbed to death by some miscreants in Meerapur town of Muzaffarnagar district on Monday.

"One person was stabbed to death and one other injured when some miscreants attacked them," Sharma said, adding that at least six people have been taken into police custody for interrogation in this connection.

Meanwhile, violence spread in neighbouring district of Shamli where 40-year-old Imam of a mosque, Maulana Umar Din, was shot dead when he was on his way to Pumali village from Butrada under Babri police station, Shamli District Magistrate PK Singh said.

Security has been tightened in the area, he said.

PM speaks to UP CM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday spoke to UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on violence in Muzaffarnagar.

Manmohan Singh condemned the violence in Uttar Pradesh and expressed grief and shock at the loss of innocent lives.

The PM assured the UP chief minister that the Centre will extend all required assistance to the state government in tackling the situation.

Mulayam meets Akhilesh

With the situation still tense in Muzaffarnagar, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday held a meeting with Akhilesh Yadav and senior officers to take stock of the situation.

Yadav sought to know from the officers why the situation could not be controlled yet and the measures taken for maintaining law and order in Muzaffarnagar.

The meeting holds significance after governor BL Joshi's report to the Centre in which he gave details of the incident and also lapses on part of the government.

"Mulayam is serious about what happened in Muzaffarnagar ... the incident is condemnable. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is himself monitoring the situation till 2am in the night," SP spokesman and Cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.

Asked whether officers are not paying heed to the chief minister, Chowdhury said, "No officer has the courage to defy orders of the CM."

Claiming that opposition was working in an undemocratic way, Chowdhury alleged they were involved in inciting and fuelling passions and added that demand for imposition of President's rule by BJP, Congress and BSP was "unjustified".

"We stopped 84 kosi yatra and thwarted attempt to communalize atmosphere of the state ... In Muzaffarnagar incident also, action will be taken against those who had taken law into their hands," Chowdhury said.

Chief secretary Javed Usmani, DGP Devraj Nagar and principal secretary, home, RM Srivastava also attended the meeting.

Mulayam had on Sunday held a meeting in which he had pulled up senior officials for their failure in taking timely action to check the violence.

When asked why permission for panchyat (called by a particular community on Saturday) was given when the situation was tense there, Chowdhury said this would be looked into.

"We will look into as to how panchayat was held there ... The entire incident will be probed," he said.

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