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Were communal riots in UP West orchestrated for gains in bypolls?

India TV News Desk 08 Aug 2014, 8:49:54 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Out of 24 riots in Uttar Pradesh since May 16, most of the communal frenzy incidents took place in the UP West region, which is home to half of the total assembly constituencies where bypolls are to be held in November, reports TOI.

Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh has seen nearly 24 riots in the past two months and the riots claimed over 8 lives, the report added.

Noteworthy, more than 50 per cent of the riots were triggered over petty issues like use of loudspeakers at religious spots or fire crackers in festival related processions.

In Moradabad, more than 50 people including the DM, were injured on July 6 when BJP workers clashed with the police for trying to hold a panchayat in protest against the removal of loudspeakers by police from a temple.

By-elections are due in Moradabad's Thakurdwara after Kunwar Sarvesh Singh of the BJP, an MLA, was elected MP by defeating HT Hasan of SP by over 87,000 votes.

Similarly, in Saharanpur, three people were killed in communal clashes on July 26.

While clashes took place in Shamli on June 5, Muzaffarnagar witnessed communal tension on July 11 and 13.

Similarly, in Bijnore, BJP MLA Bhartendu Singh was elected MP. Both Hukum and Bhartendu were also accused in Muzaffarnagar riots in which over 65 people were killed and 65,000 displaced.

By-elections are also due in Balha in Bahraich and Noida in Gautam Budh Nagar which fell vacant after BJP MLAs Savitri Bai Phule and Mahesh Sharma were elected MPs.

While Bahraich saw communal violence on May 25, Gautam Budh Nagar witnessed clashes on June 30.

In UP, bypolls are to be held in 12 assembly constituencies and out of these 12, six have seen communal violence in the past two months.

UP West includes Meerut, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Agra and Aligarh division.