UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sent a team of officials to Saharanpur
Saharanpur: The Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh has removed two top police officers and a top bureaucrat of Saharanpur, the western UP town where there have been several clashes this month between Dalit and Rajput groups. A Dalit man was killed and about 20 people were injured in violence on Tuesday after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati held a rally in Shabbirpur, a village where one person had died in caste clashes earlier this month.
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Senior Superintendent of Police SC Dubey and District Magistrate NP Singh were suspended by the state government, as they were seen to have not handled the situation effectively. The Deputy Inspector General of Saharanpur JK Shahi was also transferred later on Wednesday evening.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said strong action is being taken against all those responsible for the violence in Saharanpur and appealed for calm, saying people should not pay heed to inflammatory speeches and help maintain peace and order. "Some elements are not able to digest the good work being done by the state government and trying to disturb the atmosphere," an official release quoting the chief minister said.
Internet mobile services have also been suspended in Saharanpur.
Saharanpur has been tense since May 5 when the members of the two communities clashed over loud music being played during a procession to commemorate the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap.
On Tuesday, some unidentified people set fire to about 12 houses belonging to Rajputs in Shabbirpur ahead of Ms Mayawati's arrival. After she left, a sword-wielding mob attacked a vehicle with BSP supporters in it. Police said the attackers also fired guns killing a 24-year-old Dalit man and injuring four others.
As word spread, Dalit groups in the city allegedly rioted and threw stones, forcing shops and markets to close. Two senior police officers were suspended and 30 people have been arrested in connection with Tuesday's violence.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sent a team of officials led by Home Secretary Mani Prasad Mishra to Saharanpur. Mr Mishra arrived in the town late on Tuesday night on a special plane along with three top police officers of the state.
The Uttar Pradesh government has blamed former Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati's visit on Tuesday to Shabbirpur, a village where clashes between Dalits and Thakurs or Rajputs earlier this month had led to the death of a Dalit man.
"Some people have tried to create uneasiness at Saharanpur. Mayawati must not play caste politics and help to maintain harmony," said UP minister Shrikant Sharma.
Ms Mayawati, whose party draws crucial support from Dalits, has accused the BJP-led UP government of failing to stop attacks on weaker sections.