At a time when chief minister Yogi Adityanath has assured law and order in the state, two MPs and five newly-elected MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are taking part in a Dalit mahapanchayat convened to finalise strategy against police atrocities on Dalits.
The panchayat is scheduled to be held on Wednesday to protest against the attempt by the police to save four accused belong to upper caste in the murder case of a 12-year-old Dalit boy in Girdharpur village of Manda block of Allahabad last month.
The mahapanchayat, organised under the banner of All-India Confederation of SC/ST Employees Association, will be attended by BJP MP from Delhi North Udit Raj, who is also national chairman of the confederation. BJP MP from Kaushambi Vinod Sonker will lead the proceedings.
The BJP MLAs who will voice their protest against police atrocities on Dalits include MLAs Rajmani Kol from Koraon, Ajay Bharti from Bara, Rahul Kol from Chanbe in Mirzapur, Jamuna Prasad Saroj from Soraon and Lal Bahadur from Manjhanpur in Kaushambi.
Convenor of Dalit Mahapanchayat and advocate, Allahabad high court, Pradeep Kumar Verma alleged that members of Brahmin community murdered a Dalit boy Sonu Sonker on April 27 last, scooped out one of his eyes and tied a stone around his waist.
“The boy’s father Nebulal Sonker, a labourer, is an eyewitness in another murder case which took place eight months ago. The accused were trying to pressurise Nebulal not to testify in the case but when he refused, they killed his son and hid the body in a room filled with husk,” said Verma.
Verma said after the body was recovered, Nebulal lodged a complaint against the accused. “The police lodged a complaint of missing which was later converted into a case of suicide to save the accused. When BJP MP Vinod Sonker intervened, the police converted it into a murder case but the accused are still roaming freely and threatening Dalit villagers,” he said.
To suppress growing discontent, the police lodged an FIR against 44 identified and 70 unidentified Dalits. The police also seized around a dozen vehicles of Dalit families and allegedly looted money and belongings from their houses in the name of raid, he said.
Superintendent of police (trans-Yamuna) AK Rai said the boy died of drowning and the police would not act on directives of any MP. However, he refrained to comment on the stone found tied to the boy’s waist, his missing eye and clothes.
About 5,000 members of Dalit community from Mirzapur, Kaushambi, Chitrakoot, Fatehpur, and Banda are expected participate in the mahapanchayat.
BJP MP Vinod Sonker has also forwarded a memorandum to the chief minister’s office.