Weeks after clashes between Thakurs and Dalits in Saharanpur district, the police are still lodging FIRs and arresting people on charges of instigating communities, violence and provisions of the Information Technology Act.
While five activists of Bheem Sena have been arrested and three other activists —- including Bheem Sena head Chandrashekhar —- booked, an alleged attempt to hold a panchayat of Thakur-community members has also been foiled.
Sadar Bazar police station SHO Piyush Dixit said a case was filed against Chandrashekhar on Thursday on the basis of an audio clip purportedly released by him. The audio calls for a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on May 21 to protest against the “lax attitude” of police and administration in taking action against the violence on Dalits in Shabbirpur village on May 5. Dixit said that Chandrashekhar has been accused of staging protest against the administration and trying to create an atmosphere of violence by instigating people from different communities.
Chandrashekar and other members of his organisation are also wanted for arson and violence at various places in Saharanpur on May 9. FIRs have been lodged against Bheem Sena activists Arun and Vikas Meshram.
In a video circulated on WhatsApp, Arun is seen carrying a single-barrel gun and threatening and abusing one Amit Rana and people of one community. He is also heard saying that the Dalit community will take revenge by killing them. Arun was booked on Friday on charges of instigating both communities, said Dixit.
Meshram, the SHO added, is accused of making derogatory comments on the Chief Minister on Facebook. He tried to disturb communal harmony of Saharanpur and adjoining districts through his post, Dixit said.
“All three cases are lodged under Information Technology Act. Meshram is also on the friends list of Chandrashekhar,” said Dixit.
Meanwhile, five alleged members of Bheem Sena were arrested while they were holding a meeting at Chhapar village in Sarsawan police station area. Sarsawan SHO M P Singh said they found 25-30 people at the place, while others managed to escape.
Those arrested were identified as Sachin, Alok, Arjun, Akshay and Pawan. The meeting was at Pawan’s house. All five were booked for the arson and violence that occurred in Saharanpur on May 9.
The police also foiled an attempt of the Thakur community to hold a panchayat at Shabbipur village. Deoband area Circle Officer Siddharth Singh said that local politician Kartikey Rana had called Thakurs to the village through social media. Rana has also been booked for making derogatory remarks on Facebook, the CO added.
When contacted, Rana said he had called people of all communities to Shabbirpur. “We demand action against Chandrashekhar and his associates. We will hold a dharna if the police fail to arrest Chandrashekhar by May 21,” Rana said.
Anand Kumar, ADG, West zone (Meerut) said Rana was a self-proclaimed leader and was trying to instigate people.