THE POLICE on Sunday briefly detained several BJP leaders, including party MP from Salempur Ravindra Kushwaha, for staging a dharna demanding permission to go to Laar town in Deoria district. Prohibitory orders are in place in Laar after members of several Puja Pandals taking out a procession for idol immersion clashed with police Saturday evening, leaving more than one dozen people injured.
Police said 31 persons have been arrested in connection with the violence. As per the police, members of several puja pandals had taken out a procession to immerse the idols Saturday evening.
They had installed loudspeakers on several vehicles. As they passed from near a mosque where namaz was being offered, police officials asked those in the procession to stop playing music on the loudspeakers and halt for a while.
However, some of those leading the processions objected to being stopped by the police. It led to a clash between them and accompanying police personnel. Police had to use force to control the crowd. About one dozen persons, including policemen, were injured in the clash. Later, more than two dozen people, including several BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists, were arrested .
Deoria SP Mohammad Imran said 31 persons have been arrested in connection with the violence and the situation was now normal in the town. “There was no clash between the two communities and both sides clashed with the police. The MP was staging a dharna so he was detained briefly but was soon released,” he said.
The BJP MP, however, alleged the police used “brutal force” on those taking out the procession and the people had to abandon the idols.
“The administration immersed the idols after all the participants fled because of force used by the police. The district magistrate had given permission for the use of DJ with processions but even then ASP N K Singh interfered and forcefully got the loudspeakers stopped.
“The Assistant Superintendent of Police and station officer of Laar police station entered the houses of villagers and assaulted them. Some of the people have even fled to Bihar, scared of the police torture,” he claimed.
Kushwaha, who was accompanied by party MLA Janmejaya Singh and other party leaders, demanded suspension of SO Anshuman Yaduvanshi and action against the ASP. He said he has been assured of action against guilty police officials after an inquiry into their role by the district’s Chief Development Officer.