Internet suspended in UP's Saharanpur amid tensions over Gurjars community rally | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Internet suspended in UP's Saharanpur amid tensions over Gurjars community rally

ByS Raju, Meerut/lucknow
May 30, 2023 07:36 AM IST

Police have also sealed the borders of Saharanpur to prevent entry of leaders and members of both communities from neighbouring districts.

Security was heightened at Nakur town in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district on Monday after members of the Gurjar community took out a rally in honour of the ninth-century ruler of the Gurjar-Pratihara dynasty, Mihir Bhoj, who, the Rajputs claim belong to their community.

Superintendent of police (SP), Saharanpur Rural, Sagar Jain said some people took out the yatra defying prohibitory orders. (Getty Images)
Superintendent of police (SP), Saharanpur Rural, Sagar Jain said some people took out the yatra defying prohibitory orders. (Getty Images)

Amid simmering tension, internet services were suspended in the district till further orders, said Saharanpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vipin Tada. Police have also sealed the borders of Saharanpur to prevent entry of leaders and members of both communities from neighbouring Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.

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Nakur town remained tense on Monday after members of the Gurjar community took out the Gurjar Pratihar Samrat Mihir Bhoj Gaurav Yatra in Fandpuri and Ambeta areas. Police said no permission was granted for the rally as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure have been clamped in the district for the past few days.

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Superintendent of police (SP), Saharanpur Rural, Sagar Jain said some people took out the yatra defying prohibitory orders. “We are in the process of identifying those who defied the order and action would be initiated against them under the law,” he said, adding security has been beefed up in the district.

The rally was opposed by the Rajput community who claim that Mihir Bhoj belonged to their community. Some members of the community staged a dharna (sit-in protest) against the rally at the Ramleela ground in Hakeekat Nagar in Saharanpur. Rajputs have accused Gurjars of “distorting” history.

Citing the prohibitory orders, police stopped farmer leader Thakur Pooran Singh of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and his supporters from entering the district. Samajwadi Party legislator Atul Pradhan was also stopped by the police at Sisana village in Muzaffarnagar. Pradhan and his supporters sat on the road in protest and demanded to be allowed to participate in the yatra.

Additional director general of police (Meerut zone) Rajeev Sabharwal reached Saharanpur and held discussion on the prevailing situation with SSP Vipin Tada and other officials.

This is not the first time the two communities have come face to face over the ninth-century ruler. In September 2021, a controversy over Samrat Mihir Bhoj erupted after chief minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated a statue of the sixth Gurjar-Pratihara king at the Gurjar-dominated Dadri town in Gautam Buddh Nagar district (Noida).

Back then, members of Karni Sena — a Rajput organisation — had objected to describing the ruler as a Gurjar. They blackened the Gurjar word written at the base of the statue, leading to tension between both communities.

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