THE MEERUT police arrested six Dalit youths on Saturday night, claiming to have busted a conspiracy to create caste violence in western Uttar Pradesh through the murder of an upper caste leader, to avenge the killing of the brother of Bhim Army’s Saharanpur district president Kamal Walia. Sachin Walia had been shot on Wednesday in Saharanpur.
Police also claimed that Sachin had died in “accidental firing” and there was no caste angle to it.
Police said that the six arrested — Rahul, Deepak, Satveer Singh and Ravindra Kumar of Meerut; and Nitin and Bunti of Ghaziabad, all in their 20s — were Bhim Army sympathisers. The arrests were reportedly made from the Hastinapur police station area in Meerut. While no weapon was recovered from the six, police said they had seized seven cellphones from them.
While Kamal Walia refused to speak on the matter, Bhim Army Saharanpur city president Paveen Gautam denied that the six were its sympathisers. The Meerut unit of the Bhim Army had been long dissolved, he said.
Asserting that Sachin’s death was the result of accidental firing, and not caste-linked “as had been made out”, Additional Director General (ADG) Prashant Kumar said, “We have collected blood samples and fingerprints from the room where he died on May 9. Our investigations have revealed that an attempt was made to wipe the blood stains from the room.”
Additional Superintendent of Police, Rural (Meerut), Rajesh Kumar said that since the murder of Sachin, they had put a few telephone numbers under surveillance, based on inputs that efforts were being made to create disturbance in Western Uttar Pradesh.
The ASP said, “A conversation between Rahul and Nitin revealed that they planned to kill a leading upper caste leader in Saharanpur, to avenge the death of Sachin and to disturb law and order. Later, other conversations showed more people were involved in the planning. They had arranged the weapon and vehicle for the crime and were planning to leave for Saharanpur soon.”