The change of guard in Lucknow on Thursday — when a Samajwadi Party government headed by Akhilesh Yadav is to be sworn in — had an ominous portent in Greater Noida the day before. SP workers attacked Dalit families in the Dadri area, where outgoing chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati's ancestral village, Badalpur, is located.
In continuation of violence reported across Uttar Pradesh after the SP’s victory in the assembly elections, villagers believed to owe allegiance to the party attacked a Dalit colony in Ramgarh village in Dadri on Wednesday afternoon, thrashing residents with sticks.
Nineteen people, including women were injured in the attack and have been admitted to hospitals in Dadri. Some of them are in a critical condition.
The victims belong to the Jatav community, to which Mayawati belongs.
Ramgarh residents said most of the attackers support the SP. “As the sitting Dadri MLA from the BSP, Satveer Gujjar, won the election, SP supporters attacked the Dalits for not voting for the SP candidate," said a villager who didn’t want to be named.
Dadri circle officer Brijesh Singh, however, said, "It looks more like the fallout of a land dispute. Dalits had recently lodged a property-related case against the Gujjar group, which has been accused of violence on Wednesday. We're probing all angles, but right now our priority is to provide protection to the victims and arrest the accused.”
Tension prevails in the area and the district administration has deployed additional police forces to contain the situation.
"The accused have fled the village. We have launched a manhunt to arrest them. We have lodged a case and stern action will be taken against all the accused," Singh said.