Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi visited MuzaffarnagarReuters

A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar district, PM Manmohan Singh along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi reached ground zero to get a first hand report on the communal clashes.

Communal tensions erupted in the riot-hit district of UP on 27 August, when two men killed one Shahnawaz over a petty quarrel. Both men, reportedly belonging to the Jat community, were later lynched to death by angry villagers in Kawaal, Muzafarnagar.

Violence escalated due to police inaction coupled with inflammatory speeches against both communities on 29, 31 August and 7 September.

Singh lashed out at the Akhilesh government for failing to control the situation in the district. Even though Indian army and paramilitary forces were deployed on the second day of the clashes, the death toll rose from 12 to 47 on Saturday.

"It's the government's responsibility to provide security so that people can return to their houses. The Centre will help Uttar Pradesh government," said Singh.

"It is a very tragic incident. All those guilty of rioting will be severely punished. Our priority and efforts would be that people displaced are sent back home."

Singh along with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi personally interacted with the victims of the riots, amid tight security in the district.

On Monday, the UP state assembly witnessed an uproar over the communal tensions in Muzaffarnagar and the house was adjourned for 15 minutes. The Opposition, Bahujan Samaj Party, walked out of the assembly.

BSP chief Mayawati had accused both the SP government and Bharatiya Janata Party of playing the communal card and polarising the voters in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in May 2014.

Leaders of all four political parties - BSP, SP, Congress and BJP, have been accused of making incendiary speeches at public gatherings, before the violence broke out in the district.