//NCM recommends judicial probe into Aligarh riots

NCM recommends judicial probe into Aligarh riots

Press Trust of India, New Delhi, April 13, 2006

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has recommended a judicial probe into the April 6 Aligarh violence after an enquiry by one of its members "found" that the local administration did not take preventive steps despite clear signs of religious tension a day before the Ramnavami rioting.

The one-man NCM probe into the violence had also found that all the injured 20 people, all Muslims, had suffered above-waist gunshot wounds from police firing, reliable sources in the commission said.

The report, sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with a recommendation for a judicial probe by a sitting High Court judge into the rioting, also named a local Sangh Parivar leader, who, it alleged, had provoked an angry reaction by leading a slogan-shouting procession to a disputed water tank, the sources said.

The state administration took no preventive steps when signs of tension erupted a day before Ramnavami in Aligarh and remained passive during the tense procession on the festival day, sources said quoting the report.

Police ordered firing when tension exploded into full-fledged violence, according to the 20-page NCM report.

The NCM, which held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the findings of its member Harcharan Singh Josh into the Aligarh events, believes that a judicial inquiry could well be able to "restore the confidence of minorities in UP in the administrative system," the sources said.

Of the seven people dead, five were killed in police firing, the report said.