Only small group of people involve in riots: PM

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New Delhi, Sept 20: Describing the Muzaffarnagar riots as "very sad", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said only a very small group of people was responsible for creating such trouble which needed to be checked.

Singh said India is a country where diverse religions have flourished together for centuries and have enriched each other and its people have an overall secular outlook.

"I believe that it is only a very small group of people that is responsible for creating divisions amongst us. I also believe that it is the solemn duty of each one of us to resist these forces," he said at the national communal harmony awards function here.

The Prime Minister said the function was organised in the backdrop of heightened communal tensions in some parts of the country.

"These are very sad developments which should make us all reflect on our individual and collective obligations to promote goodwill and amity in our polity and society," he said.

Singh said the country is characterised by great diversity and it also has a very proud legacy of tolerance and respect for ways of thinking other than one's own.

"Let me take this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the Central Government to make every possible effort to promote communal harmony and national integration in our country," he said, adding the government has called a meeting of the National Integration Council on September 23 to explore ways and means for achieving these ends.

The National Communal Harmony Award for 2011 have been given to Shri Khamliana of Mizoram and Md Abdul Bari of Odisha. The award in the organisation category for 2012 was given to Delhi-based Foundation for Amity and National Solidarity. 

PM said India is a country where diverse religions have flourished together.

The Rural Development Minister, whose government is supported by Samajwadi Party from outside, said, "on Muzaffarnagar, none of us will keep quiet.

What he (Akhilesh) has done is inexcusable." He said the Chief Minister decided to visit Muzaffarnagar only after the news spread that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhia and Rahul Gandhi were going there.

The Chief Minister visited the riot-hit areas on Sunday, a day ahead of the visit of the Prime Minister and Gandhis. Ramesh attacked the Samajwadi Party, describing it as the "greatest friend" of BJP in the state.

"See the Samajwadi's greatest friend in UP is the BJP and the BJP's greatest friend in UP is Samajwadi. Because Samajwadi claims to speak on behalf of the Muslims and the BJP claims to speak on behalf of the Hindus," he charged.

"Cynical strategy on the part of the Samajwadi Party ...that the traditional alliance of the Muslims and Jats will be broken and (RLD leader and Civil Aviation Minister) Ajit Singh's influence (in Western UP) will go down and we (SP) will then emerge as the soldiers of Muslims so what if the BJP will get the Jat votes," Ramesh said.

Ramesh said that in a non-polarised atmosphere like in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress will get good number of seats. "When there is polarisation Samajwadi gets the bulk of the seats and the BJP gets bulk of the seats," he said.

He alleged that "there is enough evidence to show that the BJP local leaders fanned the communal riots through the social media." "And the riots were allowed to continue by Akhilesh, speaks about unholy alliance (between SP and BJP)," he added.


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