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Violence continues in Muzaffarnagar for second day, death toll 21
Sunday September 8, 2013 9:54 PM, IANS

Ten more people were killed Sunday on the second day of rioting in Muzaffarnagar, taking the toll to 21. At one place, miscreants fired upon army men who retaliated.

The Uttar Pradesh government worked overtime Sunday to douse the communal flare-up.

With clashes continuing in the countryside, officials fear the situation would take time to be brought under control and the toll could climb further.

Eight companies of army that were requisitioned by the state government to assist the civil administration staged a flag march in the violence-hit areas.

At one place, miscreants fired upon the forces from roof tops. The army also retaliated by firing.

On the Uttar Pradesh government's call for help, army troops were Sunday moved in to Meerut and Shamli as a precautionary measure.

The state government has sought 28 more companies of para-military forces while the central government had already dispatched 22 companies Saturday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs R.P.N. Singh said in New Delhi: "The union home ministry is in constant touch with the UP government and every assistance would be given to it to bring back communal harmony."

State home secretary Kamal Saxena said extra para-military forces and police reinforcements have been sent to the troubled areas and added that the security forces had been give the go-ahead to open fire if the situation warranted.

Saxena also informed that intensive patrolling was being done in strife-torn areas like Kalapar, Sisauli, Shahpur, Fugna and Bhaurakala of Muzaffarnagar.

Additional DGP (law and order) Arun Kumar said efforts were on to contain the spread of violence. Curfew clamped in Civil Lines, Kotwali and Nai Mandi areas continued Sunday and was unlikely to be eased Monday.

The administration has, meanwhile, announced closure of all schools and educational institutions in the district for the next three days.

A total of 52 persons have been arrested since Saturday night for inciting mobs and indulging in violence. Cases are also being filed against local political leaders, a district official said.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav Sunday called an emergency meeting of officials and senior party leaders and expressed his displeasure at the rioting and the the administration's failure in anticipating the communal tension brewing in the area.

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