Gorakhpur tense but peaceful; Peace Comt formed
Gorakhpur, Jan 30: Efforts were on to bring the situation back tonormal in the riot-torn eastern Uttar Pradesh district of Gorakhpureven as the new DM and SSP formed a peace committee.
The Shia clerics in the district have agreed to cancel -- or atleast postpone -- the Mharram procession today to avoid any untowardincident.
Newly-appointed Gorakhpur police chief S K Bhagat told UNI todaythat efforts were on to restore normalcy in the district. ''We havecalled a meeting of senior citizens of the two communities to ensurethat peace is established and normalcy returns at the earliest,'' hesaid.
The four police station areas where curfew was clamped afterviolence on friday night have been turned into fortresses with a heavypolice bandobast. Companies of Sashastra Suraksha Bal (SSB), RapidAction Force (RAF) and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have beendeployed.
The administration has decided to withdraw the relaxation incurfew in the afected areas after one person was killed and anotherinjured in an incident of firing last night.
While two people have been killed, over five were reported injuredin cases of violence and arson. Over 100 people have been rounded upfor indulging in violence and arson, police said.
Miscreants had opened fire at a 'baraat' procession on Fridaynight, in which over 24 people were wounded in Ismailpur under Kotwalipolice station area at Gorakhpur.
Some people, trying to escape the shootout, entered a Moharramprocession nearby, leading to a clash between the two groups. Thesituation turned tense after a wounded Raj Kumar Agrahari died atGorakhpur Medical College.
Later, BJP MP Yogi Adityanath was arrested for violatingprohibitory orders followed by some violence by his supporters inGorakhnath area to protest his arrest. Soon after, curfew was clampedon the Gorakhnath area too.
The state government last evening suspended DM Hari Om and SSPRaja Srivastava for their alleged laxity to contain the violence.
Rakesh Kumar Goel and S K Bhagat have been appointed as the new DM and SSP of the district respectively.
Meanwhile, top UP BJP leaders on way to Gorakhpur were taken into custody by police this morning.
Official sources said here, BJP state unit president KesharinathTripathi was arrested at Soraon soon after he left Allahabad for theriot-torn Gorakhpur. Efforts were on to take him to a government guesthouse.
Similarly, BJP legislature party leader and Leader of theOpposition in the state legislative assembly Lalji Tandon was takeninto custody at Barabanki near the state capital.