February 28, 2021 4:38:54 am
The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday announced that a magisterial inquiry will be conducted into the clash that took place between Nishad community members and police during an anti-mining drive in Prayagraj’s Baswar village on February 5. The government also said, “the process to withdraw the case against the community members will start straightaway”. The Nishads come under the OBC category and are a riverine community.
A case of rioting, attempt to murder and illegal mining charges was lodged at Naini police station against eight identified and nearly 150 unidentified people after the clash. Several boats belonging to the Nishads were allegedly damaged by policemen after the clash.
Taking cognizance of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Saturday sent Cabinet Minister and spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh and BJP MP Reeta Bahuguna Joshi to Baswar village and instructed them to “redress problems of the Nishad community”.
Quoting Singh, a statement issued by the state government on Saturday said a magisterial inquiry will be conducted within 10 days. “In the meantime, policemen who were allegedly involved in roughing up people should be sent to police lines,” Singh said while speaking to the members of the community on Saturday.
He said boats, which were damaged in the scuffle, were “being repaired and strict directions in this regard had been issued to the district administration”. “The process to withdraw the case will start and will be sent to government for approval,” the UP minister said.
He also said the list of mining mafia will also be prepared to take action against them.
On February 21, Congress general secretary in-charge of UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met Nishad community members in Prayagraj and promised them “legal help” in cases related to the scuffle.
Several leaders, including BJP’s Piyush Ranjan Nishad, had alleged police brutality. He claimed that the police damaged 18 boats owned by the community members. Several members of the Nishad community were injured in the alleged police action.
Singh said Priyanka had visited the village but instead of understanding the depth of the issues, her party “unnecessarily flared it up”. “The Nishad community has to suffer a lot because of National Green Tribunal (NGT) law but let me tell you that the NGT law was implemented by the Congress itself,” he said.
He said the government has taken many steps for the betterment of the community.
“Due to such efforts, the fishery production in the state was at a record high of 6.9 lakh MT during 2019-20,” he said.
He added the government had set a target of fish seed production/distribution of Rs 300 crore during the current financial year 2021-22. “In order to augment fishery production, the state government would also give gram panchayat’s ponds on lease for 10 years,” he said.
After the incident, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had condemned the police action and tweeted, “By breaking boats belonging to the Nishad community in Prayagraj, the BJP government has kicked them on their bellies.”
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