Earlier it was Muzaffarnagar and now Meerut.
The district administration and state police have once been caught napping, this time in Khera village in Meerut, thwarting UP government’s effort to establish normalcy in the West UP post Muzaffarnagar riots.
DGP Deo Raj Nagar called a meeting of the top police officials on Sunday evening to discuss how the villagers managed to breach the police arrangement. He directed the police officials to take adequate measures to maintain law and order in the area.
The district administration had banned the panchayat and force, including central paramilitary force (CPMF) and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), was deployed in the area to stop the villagers from entering Khera village.
Yet around 10,000 people arrived on the spot dodging the police.
Police officials here said barricades were erected on the roads and police personnel were deployed in the 24 villages located in the area but the villagers took the field route to reach the venue.
ADG (Law and Order) Mukul Goel said the district administration officials had held talks with the organizers of the panchayat.
They had given assurance that panchayat would not be held. On Sunday morning, suddenly large number of people converged on the ground of Janta Inter College in Khera village.
“After assurance by the organizers the district administration was at ease. They were simply caught unawares,” he said.
Sources said though the organizers had given written assurance to the district administration that they would not organize the panchayat, people kept trickling into the village since Saturday night.
They hid themselves in the sugarcane fields to escape from being spotted.
In the morning, when the policemen were managing the roads suddenly hordes of the people appeared from the field. The cops were caught off guard as the mob entered the ground.
A senior police officer posted in West UP said the violence in Meerut was a setback to the state government to establish normalcy in the districts of West UP after the Muzaffarnagar riots that left 62 people dead.
The state government had constituted committees for communal harmony and holding meetings with the gram pradhans to instill confidence among the rural folks.
As many as 25,000 riot victims staying in the relief camps had returned home and the process for sending the remaining 30,000 victims was continuing, he said.