Violence breaks out over Maharana Pratap birth anniversary parade, barely after few days with similar clashes during Ambedkar Jayanti procession in Saharanpur
Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh : Violence broke out in this communal sensitive town after members of the Thakur community from Shimlana village took out a music-filled procession to commemorate the birth anniversary of medieval Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap.
According to reports, one youth was killed in alleged caste clashes at a village in northwestern Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur area on Friday, while at least two dozen Dalit houses were torched by Thakur community in aftermath.
The incident occurred after a parade was passing through the predominantly Dalit village of Shabirpur, residents objected to the allegedly raucous and loud celebration with DJs, triggering an exchange of heated words. The altercation turned into a full-blown clash with both groups throwing stones and bricks at each other.
During exchange of stone-pelting, on stone accidentally hit a 25-year-old Thakur man fatally. His death further enraged the community and more Thakurs from neighbouring villages were called and gathered at Shabirpur and set at least 25 Dalit houses on fire.
The frenzy mob of Thakurs allegedly attacked police and fire brigade personnel who had dashed to the village. A fire engine was also damaged, sources said.
Several people, including a senior police inspector, were wounded in the attack. Police reinforcements have reached the area, and the situation is said to be under control but tense.
Similar clashes were recorded this year’s April when the BJP MP took out a procession to mark the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, who wrote the Constitution and fought for civil rights of the lower castes. The Police had denied permission for the procession yet the BJP MP nearly led into one big communal riots.
Clashes broke out when members of a community allegedly objected to the procession and threw stones at the rallyists. The event saw stone-throwing between Muslim residents and yatra participants, who were allegedly not from the village. Vehicles and shops were attacked, the SSP’s residence was vandalised.
The 42-year-old parliamentarian for Saharanpur, Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma of the BJP, Saharanpur SSP Love Kumar, who got transferred after the incident, along with senior police officer, and many more people were wounded.
Uttar Pradesh police registered two FIRs against Sharma and 300 unidentified people in connection with the April 20 violence. “After police stopped the procession, a section reached my residence. There were around 400 people. CCTVs were broken, the name plate was vandalised. They ransacked my office. The BJP MP was part of that crowd,” said Saharanpur SSP Love Kumar.
“I can say with confidence that everyone will be safe in the state without any discrimination and rule of law is the priority of the state government,” chief minister Yogi Adityanath said, responding to a question on the Saharanpur violence today.
With PTI Inputs