With Saharanpur on the boil, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday sought a detailed report from the Yogi Adityanath government on the recent caste disturbances in the area. The Home Ministry has asked the state government to provide details of the incidents which started last month and the steps taken to restore peace in the western Uttar Pradesh district.
This comes a day after the state government suspended the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police citing dereliction of duty. Senior officials from Lucknow are currently camping in the region to ensure that fresh clashes don’t break out between members of the Dalit and Thakur community. Internet services have been suspended in Saharanpur to stop the spread of hate messages on social media, Additional Director General (Law and Order) Aditya Mishra had said.
On Wednesday, a Thakur youth was shot at by unidentified men in the Chak Hareti area. He was initially taken to the Saharanpur district hospital but was transferred to a hospital in Meerut. Hospital sources told The Indian Express that he had been shot from point-blank range. The same day police also arrested 24 Thakur men in connection with Tuesday’s attack on Dalits returning from BSP supremo Mayawati’s rally. A Dalit youth, identified as Ashish Meghraj, was killed in the attack that left 13 others injured. A compensation of Rs 15 lakh was announced by the government to the next of kin of Meghraj. The injured will also receive Rs 50,000.
The fresh violence in Saharanpur sparked a political slugfest with BSP chief Mayawati putting the blame on the BJP government and senior state minister Siddharth Nath Singh accusing her party of “shedding tears”. Mayawati also asked senior leaders of her party to meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Wednesday evening and said they would demand strict action against those behind the violence against Dalits. The delegation comprising BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, party state president Ram Achal Rajbhar, legislature party leader Lalji Verma and former minister Indrajeet Saroj handed a memorandum to the Chief Minister.