Around 80 Valmiki families on Thursday called off their agitation after a written assurance from the Uttar Pradesh government that it has no plan to demolish their “unauthorised” houses in Rampur. The Valmikis, who had donned skull caps on Ambedkar Jayanti to show their intent for converting to Islam in protest, said they were still Hindus as their demands have been accepted.
The families also called truce with UP Urban Development Minister Azam Khan, who was in the centre of the controversy. A day after the SP leader threatened to leave the country in view of the protest, the Valmikis urged him not to take any such decision. “You also live here and allow us to also live here peacefully. We are still in Hindu religion as our demands have been accepted,” Dharam Valmiki of the Valmiki Basti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti said.
The protest was called off after Rajkumar Verka, vice-chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Caste, met the families. The demands accepted by the government were dropping plan of demolishing the houses, quashing FIR against the protesters.