Crackdown, peace efforts go hand in hand to restore normalcy in Saharanpur
While police are cracking down on those trying to flare up caste rows in the region, district officials have urged a daily wage labourer to solemnise his daughter’s wedding, assuring adequate security.lucknow Updated: May 26, 2017 17:36 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government is executing a two-pronged strategy involving crackdown and peace efforts to restore normalcy in strife-torn areas of Saharanpur district which have been on the boil for nearly a month due to casteist clashes.
The police have been asked to crack down on those trying to flare up caste rows in the region, besides organising a meeting of influential members of Thakur and Dalit communities.
In a bid to restore peace, district officials have urged a daily wage labourer Faqirchand, a Dalit, to solemnise his daughter’s wedding.
“The Dalit family had expressed apprehension that fresh clashes might break out at the time of the marriage. Not only have we encouraged Faqirchand to go ahead with the function, but we have also deployed adequate police force to keep trouble-mongers at bay,” said Saharanpur district magistrate Pramod Kumar.
Violence broke out in Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur district after a Thakur youth was killed in brick batting with Dalits after a Maharana Pratap birth anniversary parade was opposed by the latter on May 5 following which Rajputs allegedly torched over 50 hutments of Dalits.
In ensuing protests, Dalit groups torched several police vehicles and attacked policemen, injuring several of them. Another person died in fresh violence that broke out there after BSP chief Mayawati’s visit earlier this week.
ADG (law and order), Aditya Mishra told HT there were no reports of any untoward incidents on Friday, and the police have started a probe into the clashes and killings.
“FIR has been lodged and efforts are being made to nab the culprits. About two dozen people have been taken into custody,” he said.
Local intelligence units have been directed to crack down on sympathisers of Bhim Army — a regional outfit accused of stoking the fires between the Dalits and the Rajputs — and report on those funding the outfit, a state home department official said.
Though the direct involvement of any political party has not come to light as yet, people involved in illegal sand mining and running slaughterhouses are on the radar of security agencies.
The officers are also collecting details of the people who provided funds and transported supporters to the Bhim Army rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on May 21.
“Fringe groups active in New Delhi and west UP mobilised the people to attend the rally,” an intelligence department officer said.
Action against Officials
A senior state government official said after taking action against senior officials in Saharanpur, the government would now take to task lower rank officials for lapses in duty during the BSP chief Mayawati’s visit on Tuesday.
Divisional commissioner NP Agarwal, DIG JK Shahi, DM NP Singh and SP Subhash Chandra Dubey were suspended earlier by the Yogi Adityanath government.
Principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar said a four-member team comprising home secretary Mani Prasad Mishra, ADG (law and order) Aditya Mishra, STF IG Amitabh Yash, and DIG (security) Vijay Bhusan have been directed to submit a detailed report on security lapses, fixing responsibility on top and lower rank officers.
Recalling Mayawati’s visit to the region during which clashes erupted again, a senior government officer, on condition of anonymity, said approval for the visit was given after preparing a foolproof security plan and deploying adequate forces.
“The officials were directed to ensure the safe return of BSP supporters after the meeting. However, the DM and the SSP failed to implement the directives.
“They were not present on the spot when the BSP chief was meeting the victims. Adequate force was not deployed on the route which the BSP supporters were to take while returning,” he said.
When the senior officers in Lucknow came to know about fresh violence, they changed the return route of the BSP chief.
“Had the cavalcade of the BSP chief been attacked, the area would have been engulfed in violence,” the officer said.
When chief minister Yogi Adityanath was informed about the fresh violence and death of a person, he ordered the suspension of senior officials, he said.