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25 Arrested, 4 Top Officials Suspended Over Saharanpur Violence

"Situation is under control, we are monitoring everything."

24/05/2017 8:48 PM IST | Updated 24/05/2017 8:48 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

LUCKNOW -- Twenty-five persons were arrested and four top officials suspended over the violence in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur, a day after clashes between Dalits-Rajputs left one dead.

According to sources, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is reported to have taken a grim view of the return of caste clashes between Dalits and Rajputs and ordered the suspension of District Magistrate N.P. Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police Subhash Chandra Dubey as well as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and a Circle Officer of the police.

The move came after a team of senior officials, rushed to the violence hit villages by Chief Minister Adityanath, found the district officials guilty of dereliction of duty and carelessness in responding to the initial violence.

Shabbirpur village has witnessed caste conflict thrice since April.

Home Secretary Mani Prasad Mishra, who was part of the team sent by the Chief Minister to Shabbirpur, where over 20 people were also injured in sword attacks, told IANS that adequate security deployment has been done.

"Situation is under control, we are monitoring everything and will be camping here (at the scene) till normalcy returns," Mishra added.

A team of four officials including the Home Secretary, Additional Director General (ADG) Law and Order Aditya Mishra, Inspector General (Special Task Force) Amitabh Yash and DG Security Vijay Bhushan were flown down in a special plane to the violence-hit area late on Tuesday night.

The area has been on the boil since 20 April, when a clash between the two communities singed the region.

The violence erupted again on Tuesday night after a visit by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati. Before her visit there was stone pelting at a settlement of the Rajputs and some houses were set on fire. As soon as Mayawati left, the Rajputs hit back, and in the firing that ensued one person was killed and over two dozen injured.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has blamed the visit of Mayawati for triggering the fresh spate of violence.

The Chief Minister has appealed to the opposition not to stoke fires and instead help the government in returning normalcy.

Power Minister Srikant Sharma, who is also the government spokesman said: "It was expected that the visit of the former Chief Minister (Mayawati) would lead to return of peace but what happened was the reverse."

A state of high alert has been sounded across Uttar Pradesh and all sit-ins, protests and demonstrations have been banned. Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) companies have been deployed in violence-hit villages.

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