Fresh violence in Saharanpur

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Lucknow: Fresh Violence was reported on Maharana Pratap Jayanti on Tuesday in Saharanpur. Several vehicles were set ablaze by the agitated members of the dalit community and about half a dozen policemen, including a Circle Officer, was injured in fresh clashes in the district.

SRAWAN SHUKLA

SRAWAN SHUKLA

The author is a Lucknow-based independent journalist with over 25 years experience in media - print, television and digital. He started his career with the Pioneer, working later with The Times of India, Newstime, Hyderabad and Tehelka. He also worked with Zee News and ETV (UP). He was Editor (U.P.) of bhaskar.com and later founded Newstrack.com.

Demanding compensation for 25 dalits whose houses were burnt by the upper castes, members of dalit community clashed with the police again torching several vehicles and indulging in arson and heavy stone-pelting on Tuesday at several places in Saharanpur.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken serious note of fresh incidents of violence in the district. He summoned the DGP Sulkhan Singh and Home Secretary Devashish Panda on his return from Meerut and gave them instructions to deal firmly with those indulging in violence and vitiating the peace in Saharanpur.

Due to inadequate police force, men in khakhi had to show hasty retreat. The SP City had to run for life when agitated mob chased him away. A car, two mobike and property worth several lakhs gutted in the fire at Gandhi Park and other places in the district.

Later, senior police officials rushed Gandhi Park with extra force and brought the situation under control. Saharanpur is in grip of violent clashes since April 20 when the BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal forcibly tried to take out a procession of Maharana Pratap from banned routes. One person was killed in violence on May 5.

Last Friday, Dalits had clashed with members of the upper castes when the latter again tried to take out procession of Maharana Pratap from lower caste-dominated areas. Many Thakurs were injured in the incident. Later, members of upper caste had targeted dalit colonies and torched 25 houses.

On Tuesday, members of Bheem Army assembled at Gandhi Park to hold a dharna without seeking any permission. When police tried to disperse them, they suddenly attacked the men in khakhi. A few round of firing by the mob was also reported. However, no one sustained gunshot injuries.

The news of clash spread like wildlife in the city. Within no time, violence spread to other areas of the district. Several rounds were fired by agitated mob at Chilkana Road; Two bikes and a car were set ablaze at Malhipur. Clashes were reported from Rampur Maniharan and other areas also.

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