At least 14 people have been arrested in connection with the arson in which nearly half-a-dozen shanties of Muslims were gutted in Gabi Mahuaban village under Lalganj police station area of Pratapgarh district on Sunday.
The arson had occurred in the wake of a firing incident in the village Saturday evening, following a fight between two Muslim families. The son of the pradhan of neighbouring Bahuchara village was also injured in Saturday’s incident.
However, the police maintained that, prima facie, the involvement of the pradhan, Sanjay Singh, or his supporters was yet to be established.
The district administration said on Monday that the situation was under control. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
According to the police, all the 14 arrested belong to Bahuchara village and were mostly in their early 20s. “The police have got the FIR registered in connection with the arson. More raids are being conducted. The investigations will take time before we arrive at the conclusion as to who was responsible for the incident,” said Pratapgarh SP Balikaran Singh Yadav.
Pratapgarh DM Amrit Tripathi said: “There was nothing communal in the run-up to the incident. However, a magisterial inquiry has been ordered to probe lapses on the part of the police. Apart from monetary compensation, we have also provided the families with rations.”
The DM has already suspended the Station Officer of Lalganj police station, Sabhajeet Mishra, who was in the village, when the incident occurred.
DIG (Allahabad Range), Bhagwan Swaroop, said: “It has come to light that one Naveen Singh of Bahuchara village had collected the youngsters after Saturday’s incident. He is connected or related to Sanjay Singh, the pradhan of Bahuchara. However, a much deeper probe is required to get to the bottom of this incident.”
Officials maintained that the incident did not have any communal angle, as the first incident involved two families from the same community.