Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will soon be completing 100 days in office. This period has been marked by a variety of events – enforcing the closure of illegal slaughter houses, the operation of anti-Romeo squads, cow vigilantism by pro-Hindutva outfits, BJP and Bajrang Dal men attacking a police station in Agra and most recently, inefficient policing in Saharanpur which led to the rioting between upper caste Thakurs and Dalits over the garlanding of an Ambedkar statue by the latter.
In the beginning, Adityanath decided not to change any of the officials who had served under his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav. But soon enough, local BJP workers began to protest, demanding the removal of district magistrates as well as SHOs. So when Bajrang Dal men misbehaved with a deputy superintendent of police on April 22 in Fatehpur Sikri nearby, they demanded that he expunge an FIR against nine of their colleagues.
Instead, five Bajrang Dal men were arrested and shifted to the Sadar Bazar police station in Agra. Incensed, several men from the saffron outfit stormed into the ‘thana’ and tried to break in. A sub-inspector was thrashed and his bike torched. Watching the Bajrang Dal men take law and order into their hands was BJP MLA Uday Bhan Singh.
Within a week of the incident, the axe fell on SSP Agra, Preetinder Singh, who was transferred. But the story wasn’t over yet. All the BJP MLAs and MPs from Agra region met the chief minister and demanded that the case against the Bajrang Dal men be transferred to another district, Mathura, for investigation.
Police sources confirm that the investigating officer has now been ordered to remove the stringent IPC sections in the case, as the bail applications of the Bajrang Dal men have been rejected by the district court. Meanwhile, Bhim Army chief and Dalit leader Chandrashekhar, accused of instigating the riots against Thakurs in Saharanpur, has been arrested. But the fact remains that local RSS and BJP leaders had been instrumental in creating the unrest. But in the end, SSP Love Kumar, who had had a dozen rioters were arrested and FIRs lodged against Saharanpur BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpur and former BJP MLA Rajiv Gumber, both for instigating tension, was not only removed from the district, but his home vandalized by BJP workers.
Soon after his transfer, the police arrested over 23 persons, who were actually not involved in the violence on May 5. According to a senior police officer, the BJP sought to take revenge and sought to perpetrate violence against Dalits a month later. Neither Raghav Lakhanpal nor any of the other BJP leaders have been taken into custody so far. Truth is, it is highly unlikely that any of these leaders will ever be arrested.