The Uttar Pradesh government has transferred investigation into the six cases related to the 2017 violence in Saharanpur district to Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) of the state police. Two of these cases include against BJP leaders — local MP Raghav Lakhanpal is named in both, while his brother Rahul, Deoband MLA Brijesh and Saharanpur city party president Amit Gagneja were named in one as the main accused. They were never arrested in the cases.
These six cases were lodged at Janakpuri police station on April 20 last year following a clash between Dalits and Muslims (see box). These were later clubbed with 25 other cases related to a caste clash between Dalits and Thakurs in May that year. The 31 cases were handed over to a special investigation team (SIT) in May that year formed by state government. The SIT has so far filed chargesheet in 12 cases and closure in eight.
Inspector Surendra Pal Singh of CB-CID, who has been assigned to investigate the six cases, said, “I have procured documents related to the six cases and have begun the investigation.”
The six cases were lodged after certain Muslims objected to certain Dalits who were taking out an Ambedkar rally in Sadak Doodhli village on April 20. The Muslims contended that the procession had no permission from the administration. Police too arrived and stopped the procession on grounds of not having the permission. Local BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal along with party leaders and workers reached the village. He allegedly argued with police to allow the procession. When they did not relent, a mob, allegedly involving BJP workers and locals, went on the rampage indulging in arson and attack on police.