Mob targets police as fresh violence erupts in Saharanpur

‘Bheem Army’ converges on city to ‘seek action’ against May 5 attack on Dalits

Written by Abhishek Angad | Saharanpur | Updated: May 10, 2017 9:03 am
Saharanpur, Saharanpur violence, Saharanpur Dalits, Bheem Army, Saharanpur violence, UP violence, Yogi Adityanath, India news, Indian Express A gutted bus in Saharanpur on Tuesday. Gajendra Yadav

Fresh violence erupted around Saharanpur on Tuesday after a large crowd started converging on the city, allegedly to seek action against the violence on Dalits in Shabbirpur village last week. According to police, a crowd of around 1,000 people were mobilised under the banner of “Bheem Army”. The protest sparked violence, during which a private bus, 10 motorcycles and a car were torched in two villages in Saharanpur district, the police said. Three police personnel and a journalist were injured. There was also a failed attempt at setting ablaze a police picket, the police added.

Twenty-two people have been arrested. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath summoned Principal Secretary (Home) Debashish Panda, DGP Sulkhan Singh and ADG (Law and Order) Aditya Mishra. Sources said the officers had been told to deal with the troublemakers sternly. Cabinet minister Shrikant Sharma said things would get back to normal soon.

On May 5, violence erupted in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur district after Dalits objected to loud music being played by Thakurs at a procession. A Thakur man died and 25 Dalit homes were charred. Over the last few days, the police said, messages were being exchanged on social media asking people from various districts to assemble in Saharanpur on May 9 in the name of “Bheem Army”. They called for a “maha panchayat” to “seek action” against the violence on Dalits in Shabbirpur.

“Caste-based polarised messages were intercepted Monday evening, after which two people were arrested. A police force was deployed at the proposed assembly area in the city. However, more than 1,000 people gathered around Saharanpur area,” said SSP Subhash Chand Dubey. N P Singh, the DM of Saharanpur, said, “The messages said they would burn Saharanpur if they did not get justice. The crowd was stopped from entering the city, but they formed different units and staged a protest in Dalit-majority villages like Malhipur, Halalpur and near Ramnagar. They burnt vehicles and threw bricks at the police on Malhipur road.”

Saharanpur DIG Jitendra Shahi said the police had contained the crowds till afternoon until a photojournalist started taking pictures and irked the protesters. “They beat him up and torched vehicles,” he said.

Shahi said the “Bheem Army” has been active since former Chief Minister Mayawati’s tenure. The man who mobilised the crowd is Rahul Bharti, who came from Haridwar after the Shabbirpur violence, he said.

The Indian Express met Bharti in Saharanpur District Hospital four days ago, when he was meeting the victims of the clash. He had said, “The atrocities against Dalits were perpetrated with full planning and we will fight against it.”

(With inputs from Lucknow)

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  1. E
    Evm rigged Modi
    May 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    now police army BSF CRPF courts are irrelevant sc st obc will form bheem army which wl be 60 percent of indias population muslims 20 percent will join them to form big army naxals kasmiris also welcome then we can convert brwamins higher caste into slaves of india
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    1. B
      Bharat
      May 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm
      Parallel policing like Bheem army Gaurakshak Bajrang dal hindu yuwa vahini and many exists in India except no such muslim organization allowed even for defense speak lawless biased order of the day. Have government policing only with representation of all sects of indian society.
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      1. T
        True indian
        May 10, 2017 at 11:48 am
        Modi Effect making waves in UP. So this is Modi's Make in india.
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        1. A
          arc
          May 10, 2017 at 10:37 am
          Bheem army. Sounds good and better than Ram Tulla's monkey sena. Probably the answer to the brahminical gau rakshak goons. Next target should be Gadha Mohan Das the hindutva goon MLA from Gorakhour who misbehaved with woman officer.
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          1. S
            SANKAR
            May 10, 2017 at 11:05 am
            BETTER YOU BE THE LEADER FOR PIG RAKSHAK.NICE JOB FOR YOU FUTURE..........
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            1. A
              arc
              May 10, 2017 at 11:26 am
              You must be an RSS brahmin. How was the lad in knickers you molested last night?
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