The Fatehpur administration and police said on Monday that they are looking into the role of the revenue official whose inquiry into a disputed land in Nai Basti area sparked the clash that killed a man the previous day. Revenue official (lekpal) Anupam Kumar’s inquiry saw arguments over the purpose of the land — the Hindus claimed it was where they kept their animals, while the Muslims claimed it was a cemetery (kabristan). In the ensuing ruckus, someone fired a gun that resulted in local resident Ram Narayan Yadav’s, 50, death.
Fatehpur District Magistrate (DM) Kumar Prashant said that a two-member committee, with Tehsildar and Nayab Tehsildar as members, will hold a departmental inquiry against the lekpal.
“Showcause notice has been issued to him to explain why he did not inform police before going to measure the land in question,” said DM. “It is standard procedure in such cases. This was not done.”
The Indian Express tracked down lekpal Kumar who said, “A week ago, I got a complaint from a man named Mudassir Hussain of Nai Basti. He claimed the 400 sq meter land had been grabbed by some people from the Yadav community. He said that it was a kabristan.”
“I checked revenue records, which too mentioned it was a kabristan. On Sunday afternoon, I went to the spot along with another lekpal Om Prakash, and Mudassir Hussain only. While I was measuring the land, the groups arrived and the clash happened. Prakash and I ran from the spot leaving behind my motorcycle,” he said. The motorcycle was among the three that was set ablaze in the protests that followed the killing.
Victim Ram Narayan Yadav’s family too holds lekpal Kumar responsible for the clash. Yadav’s brother Ram Singh, who was also injured in the clash, said, “The lekpal had come to the spot along with those people who opened fire at us. It appears that he was hand-in-glove with them. His role should be probed. It should also be probed why he chose to measure the land on a Sunday when no government official usually works.”