Communal tension likely ahead of elections: Shinde

Sushilkumar Shinde
New Delhi, Sept 9: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Monday said that there is likelihood of communal tension in the country ahead of the general elections scheduled for early 2014.

"I had said in my monthly conference in Delhi that as elections are approaching, there is a likelihood of communal tension in the country," Shinde told reporters here without naming any political party.

Asked whether he was pointing to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shinde said: "We have information that some people will create this (communal tension). I don't blame any party as such."

Shinde said that the riots took place despite the central government issuing a warning to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav about intelligence reports suggesting tension in the state.

"I had talked to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh that tension is arising and you have to be alert. He said that he will make arrangements. However, this incident (riots) has taken place," Shinde said.

The home minister further said the situation was being handled by the para-military forces and the army, and Uttar Pradesh could ask the central government for help.

Shoot-at-sight orders were issued Monday in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district as the toll in communal clashes climbed to 28.

Cases were slapped against 1,000 people, while the governor sent a report to the centre blaming the state government.


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