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Union minister asked not to visit Gorakhpur

Gorakhpur, February 1
The Union Minister of State for Home, Sri Prakash Jaiswal, was today asked not to visit the riot-torn district of Gorakhpur, even as he announced that the Centre might take action if the situation did not return to normal soon.

Talking to reporters in the state capital after his return from Gorakhpur, Mr Jaiswal informed when the district administration requested him not to visit the riot-hit areas, he complied with their request. The district administration reasoned that his visit to the curfew-bound areas could cause law and order problems.

The Union Minister, along with state Congress leaders participated in a peace march. The police had yesterday detained UPCC president Salman Khurshid and others, while on their way to Gorakhpur to carry out a 'shanti sadbhawna' march.

''I went to Gorakhpur on the directions of the government to take stock of the situation...If things do not improve, the Centre will not sit back,'' he asserted in reply to a question.

He added that top district and police officials have appraised him of the situation. ''The situation there is calm, but tense,'' he added. He assured that if required, additional central paramilitary forces will be deployed.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, while addressing a seminar at Ghazipur district, criticised the Union Minister for breaching protocol by not informing his government about his plans to visit Gorakhpur.

The curfew, which was imposed in this Uttar Pradesh district after a communal flare-up, continued for the sixth day today, even though no violent incident was reported in the last 24 hours.

Curfew in Kotwali, Tiwaripur and Rajghat areas was imposed after a clash on Friday night. UNI



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