Principal secretary (home) Debasish Panda and UP director-general of police Sulkhan Singh on Sunday instructed officials to initiate stern action against those behind the caste violence at Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur on Friday.
Angry Thakurs had set fire to at least 15 houses belonging to Dalits after the death of a Thakur youth, Sumit Rana, in brick-batting.
Police arrested 17 rioters on Saturday night and raids are still underway to arrest other suspects.
Panda and Singh arrived in Saharanpur on Sunday for a division level review meeting. The district magistrates, senior superintendents of police and other officials of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts briefed the duo about the law and order situation in the area.
The principal secretary (home) and the DGP also reviewed the Shabbirpur violence and tried to figure out the lapses on part of the administration and the police. They discussed possible preventive measures to stop the recurrence of such incidents. The officials appreciated the way Saharanpur DM NP Singh and SSP Subhash Chand Dubey had dealt with and controlled the situation.
The SSP and the DM said they had decided to take the help of influential members of different communities to prevent such clashes and control crime.
“Soon, influential and respected people of different villages, blocks, towns and cities will be roped in. This will help spread harmony and brotherhood among members of different castes and communities,” the SSP told HT
The district has witnessed caste clashes over the past month. In another recent incident, members of two communities clashed in village Doodhli during an Ambedkar Jayanti procession. Later, an angry crowd, led by BJP MP and MLAs barged into the residence of the then Saharanpur SSP, Luv Kumar, and damaged his name plate and the CCTVs installed there.
Cases were registered against BJP leaders and others who were a part of the mob, and Kumar was transferred to Noida.
On Saturday, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati expressed concern over the clash and accused the Yogi Adityanath government of “saffron appeasement”.