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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Bulandshahr violence: Fear of arrest keeps labourers away, agriculture work hit

Labourers had not returned to villages and this was compounding the woes of farmers during the peak of sugarcane crushing season, claimed locals.

lucknow Updated: Dec 13, 2018 08:23 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
As many as 27 named and over 60 unidentified people have been booked for Bulandshahr violence on December 3
As many as 27 named and over 60 unidentified people have been booked for Bulandshahr violence on December 3(HT file photo)
         

Fearing arrest, majority of men have fled the affected villages in Bulandshahr after the mob violence that led to the death of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a local youth Sumit Kumar in Syana tehsil on December 3.

Labourers had not returned to villages and this was compounding the woes of farmers during the peak of sugarcane crushing season, claimed locals.

An FIR was lodged against 27 named and over 60 unidentified people in the violence. Police believe that most of the people involved in the violence belonged to Mahav, Chingrawathi, Nayabaans and Nayagaon villages under Syana tehsil.

The SIT formed under the supervision of IG Meerut range Ramkumar identified a few more perpetrators of violence and six teams were formed to arrest the named accused and identify the unidentified rioters.

A named case was registered against seven people who were allegedly involved in the cow slaughter incident in Mahav village, which triggered the violence. Later, one of the accused, Anas, was found to be a minor and his name was excluded from the case.

So far, four accused had been arrested in the cow slaughter case while11 out of the 27 named accused identified through video clips were held in different raids, confirmed the SSP office of Bulandshahr.

However, the villagers claimed that the police seemed to have no criteria for making arrests. On the basis of video clips, the raid teams even arrested those who had gone to a catch bus or auto from the bus stand on December 3, they alleged.

Premjeet Singh of Mahav village claimed that majority of men had not returned to the affected villages even nine days after the violence due to the fear of being arrested. “Nobody knows whose names are on the police list and therefore they are keeping themselves away from villages,” he said.

Mahav village pradhans’s son Krishan Pal said labourers also fled from the village and this had compounded the woes of farmers during the peak of sugarcane crushing season.

“This is the time when farmers take their cane to the mills. In the absence of labourers, sugarcane crop is lying unattended in the fields and supply slips issued by ganna samiti in names of farmers have expired. Worried farmers want to return to their villages, but are scared of the ongoing police raids,” said Pal.

The situation in neighbouring villages – Chingrawathi, Nayabaans and Nayagaon – is similar and villagers are worried over the halt in agriculture activities and unavailability of fodder for cattle.

Officials of Rashtriya Jat Mahasangh echoed similar views saying the situation in these villages was getting worse due to fear of police raids.

Rohit Jakhar, state acting president of the mahasangh, said police should arrest those who were involved in violence instead of creating an atmosphere of fear in villages.

He said villagers had left their homes due to fear and were not ready to return till the raids were on.

“This has created a problem as women can’t go to the fields to collect fodder for cattle. Sugarcane crops lying unattended are drying and agriculture activities have come to a halt,” he added.

He expressed apprehension that this atmosphere of fear may polarise villagers for a bigger movement for their survival.