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  India   All India  26 May 2017  Uneasy calm lurks in Saharanpur

Uneasy calm lurks in Saharanpur

THE ASIAN AGE. | SAURABH TRIVEDI
Published : May 26, 2017, 9:58 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2017, 9:58 am IST

After the violence reported in Shabbirpur village, the police arrested 30 people, mostly Rajputs, and also raided houses for more arrests.

Administrative officials and the police patrol in the violence-hit Sabbirpur village of Saharanpur district. (Photo: AP)
 Administrative officials and the police patrol in the violence-hit Sabbirpur village of Saharanpur district. (Photo: AP)

Saharanpur: As an uneasy calm prevailed in the riot-torn Shabirpur village in Saharanpur, the state home secretary and additional director general of police (ADG) held a peace meeting with representatives from the clashing communities — dalits and Thakurs. Fear stalks and tension is writ large among the dalits, while the Thakurs seemed to be seething with rage.

To infuse confidence among the dalits, home secretary Mani Prasad Mishra greeted them with the chant of “jai Bhim”. He even offered a sum of Rs 2,000 to a widow dalit woman whose house was burnt during the violence. He assured that compensation will be given to the families who have been hit by the violence. The BJP, which swept the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, had focused on the dalit votebank and chief minister Yogi Adityanath is in no mood to see the community switch back to its rivals — the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party. 

 

The home secretary made it clear to the dalits that there’s “nothing to be afraid of” and that the “government will take all possible steps to protect them”. The area has now been teeming with security forces.

During the peace meeting, Mr Mishra and ADG Aditya Mishra assured villagers that no innocent person would be harassed. The home secretary, in fact, apologised to people from both the communities that the violence occurred despite police presence in the area. It may be recalled that on Wednesday the chief minister had suspended two senior officials, including the local SSP. 

The BJP, which had worked hard to snatch away the dalits and OBC votebanks from the SP and BSP, was also aware that it’s core votebank — the upper caste — needed to be placated. The officials have assured both the communities that there “will be no police harassment” and “no innocent will be punished”.

 

“I met people, including women and children, from both the communities and urged them to maintain peace. No one will be harassed or detained by the police without any substantial evidence. The situation is under control. We are monitoring everything and will be camping here (at the village) till normalcy returns,” the home secretary added.

“We have deployed 12 companies of the Reserve Police Force in the area under supervision of senior police officials. Rumour mongers and anti-social elements will be sternly dealt with,” the ADG added.

There have been tension between the communities as a section of dalits claimed that after the elections, the Rajputs suddenly became aggressive and were trying to dominate them. “We are poor people and we earn our livelihood by working at the farms owned by the  Rajputs,” a dalit woman,  Rama Devi, whose house was burnt during the violence said. Peace and harmony which had been prevailing in this region has been shattered, she felt. “ I have never witnessed any violence in the village ever.All of a sudden Rajputs are trying to suppress us,” Rama Devi claimed.

 

After the violence reported in Shabbirpur village, the police arrested 30 people, mostly Rajputs, and also raided houses for more arrests.

As the communities and political outfits accuse each other, all eyes are also on one of the rising forces in the region-Bhim Army. The leader, Chandrashekhar Azad has gone underground. It was learnt that most of its members were also on the run.  Speculations are rife that BSP, which was rapidly losing its hold on the dalits was  tacitly supporting the Bhim Army.

Some of the locals from both the communities said that the “cate based parties which were routed by the BJP during the elections were trying to incite caste violence to regain its grip on the backwards-the Dalits and the OBCs.”

 

Tags: yogi adityanath, saharanpur violence, bhim army, dalits
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh