Police stop SP leaders from entering Saharanpur village hit by violent protests

Samajwadi Party accuses officials of taking orders from Bharatiya Janata Party after violence during procession to mark Ambedkar Jayanti

india Updated: Apr 22, 2017 18:21 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Meerut
Saharanpur,BJP,Saharanpur clash
The SP leaders staged a sit-in protest at the Circuit House, where they were stopped from going to the affected localities(HT photo)

Police stopped on Saturday a five-member delegation of the Samajwadi Party from visiting Doodhli village in Saharanpur that was rocked by clashes over a procession last week that included members of the BJP.

The team from SP, the party in power before the Bharatiya Janata Party won the state elections last month, staged a sit-in protest at the Circuit House, where they were held back from going to the localities affected in Thursday’s violence.

“No one was allowed to enter the village. We don’t want anybody to play politics over the incident”, said Luv Kumar, SSP of Saharanpur.

The clashes were sparked after a rally, held to mark Dalit icon BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary with BJP leaders in attendance, drew protests from locals. The dispute turned violent, before the police stepped in and stopped the procession for being organised without permission.

Hours later, members of the BJP — including MP Raghav Lakhanpal, his MLA brother Rahul Lakhanpal — barged into the house of the senior superintendent of police in protest.

The BJP leaders were booked for both incidents on Friday.

Samajwadi party district president Jagpal Das told HT over phone that the delegation wanted to meet people who were injured or faced losses to their properties during Thursday’s violence.

“Our objective was to meet the members of both the sides in order to restore harmony,” he said, also accusing the administration of acting on the directions from the ruling party.

The SP delegation included former MLAs and ministers Gulam Mohd, Manoj Paras, Moolchand Chauhan, Sanjay Garg and Mehboob Ali Khan. The team had been drawn up by state president of the party Naresh Uttam, sources said.

First Published: Apr 22, 2017 18:20 IST