Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday held a protest against the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh over “deteriorating law and order situation” in the state.
The protesters highlighted last week’s clash in Mathura where 24 persons, including two police officers, were killed during an anti-encroachment drive in Jawahar Bagh and the forensic report related to the Bisada lynching case that suggested that the meat found during the incident was that of a cow.
More than 500 protesters gathered at the district headquarters and shouted anti-government slogans. Similar protests were held in Gautam Budh Nagar district as well.
“Two police officers died while dealing with the land mafia and anti-social elements in Mathura. The law and order situation has deteriorated in the state and cases of robbery, rape, murder are increasing. People of the state, including women, farmers, students and businessmen are living in fear due to the rise in crime,” said Pankaj Singh, BJP’s state general secretary and Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s son.
In Mathura, members of an armed sect, who call themselves followers of freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, had been camping in Jawahar Bagh for over two years to press for their demands. These members had encroached upon the park, which is spread over 280 acres.
“How were these people allowed to increase their strength and squat on the government land for two years? This is not possible without the connivance of officials. Incidents of attack on security personnel have increased during the present regime,” said Singh.
The protesters demanded immediate dismissal of the state government and a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the Jawahar Bagh incident.
Earlier, at an election rally in Amroha on June 5, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said if the Uttar Pradesh government wants to get to the bottom of the incident, it should ask for a CBI inquiry. He said if the state seeks a CBI inquiry, the Central government will agree to it.
The BJP protesters also demanded that an FIR be lodged against those responsible for “cow slaughter” at Bisada village.
On September 28, Mohammed Ikhlaq was lynched while his son Danish was attacked by a mob at Bisada village in Dadri over allegations of cow slaughter.
“The forensic report has indicated that it was cow meat. The police should immediately lodge an FIR against those responsible for slaughtering cow,” said Ajay Sharma, Ghaziabad city president of the BJP.
The forensic report from a Mathura laboratory indicated that the meat belonged to “cow or its progeny.”
The families of the accused in the lynching case, facing murder charges, claimed that the meat was recovered from Ikhlaq’s fridge and have approached the police with the demand to lodge an FIR against his family for alleged cow slaughter.
The two issues— Mathura violence and forensic report of the meat— have given the BJP the much-awaited opportunity to target the Samajwadi Party government ahead of the Assembly elections in the state next year.