10 witnesses give statement in Masuri violence case

A week after violence claimed six lives in Masuri, Ghaziabad, at least 10 witnesses came forward on Monday to record their statements before Meerut Divisional Commissioner Mrityunjay Kumar Narayan, who is conducting an inquiry into the incident.

The probe will unearth the trigger for the violence and determine if there were lapses on the part of the administration or police. It will also recommend way to avoid such incidents in future.

Narayan told The Indian Express that at least 10 witnesses from neighbouring villages had come forward on the first day of recording of witness statements.

"Today was the first day, and 10 people have come forward. No one came was from Masuri, but from areas around the town," Narayan said.

Recording of witness statements will continue till September 27, and is held between between 10 am and 2 pm.

Narayan said the inquiry will check on three issues.

"It will study the incident and determine the actual sequence of events that led up to the incident, note why did the crowd turn violent and whether there was a lapse on the part of police or district administration," he said.

On September 14, a mob rampaged the Masuri police station after around 18 torn pages from the Quran were found near the railway tracks in the area. Police said offensive words were written on the pages along with a mobile phone number.

The Uttar Pradesh government ordered a probe, headed by Narayan, a day later. Several police and Ghaziabad district officials were also transferred or suspended.

No arrests in the case have been made yet, as police said they immediate aim to restore peace and normalcy in the area.

Two FIRs have been registered in the case, including one against unknown persons for causing communal disharmony. The other FIR is against 5,000 unidentified people for violence at the police station.

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