Saharanpur Remains Tense Post Caste Clashes, UP Police Chief Takes Stock

It was the second big caste clash in Saharanpur in a fortnight that left one person dead and over 20 injured

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Saharanpur Remains Tense Post Caste Clashes, UP Police Chief Takes Stock

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Police chief Sulkhan Singh said strict action will be taken against those involved.

Saharanpur:  As the situation in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur continues to be tense, UP police chief Sulkhan Singh is visiting the district today after clashes between Dalits and upper caste Thakurs on Friday left one person dead and over 20 injured. This was the second big caste clash in the district in a fortnight. 

"We have registered cases against those involved and strict action will be taken. No one will be spared," Mr Singh said.

The Dalit community held a massive protest on Saturday in the Saharanpur city demanding action against the members of the upper castes from Shabbirpur village where the incident took place. 

Violence erupted after a dispute over a procession to commemorate the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. Members of the Dalit community had objected to loud music being played during the event. According to reports, there were rumours that an Ambedkar statue in the village was also being vandalised. 

The UP government says it's doing its best to control the situation. Seventeen people have been arrested in the latest incident and six FIRs - four by upper caste members, one by a Dalit and another by the police -- have been filed so far. 

Taking this as an opportunity to launch an attack on Yogi Adityanath's government, senior Congress Leader from Saharanpur Imran Masood said, "The administration has totally failed. These processions are being taken out without required permission. This is politics of hate. Yogiji has been saying so many things, but no one seems to be listening to him." 

Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati also reacted to the latest incident in Saharanpur, and accused the government of indulging in "saffron appeasement". 

But Siddharth Nath Singh, spokesperson of the Uttar Pradesh government, refuted all allegations  and said, "Just yesterday the chief minister said there will be no differentiation between anyone in the enforcement of law and order . Whatever directions are being given are without any bias. The lower machinery in the police also needs to understand that we are a tough government." 

Last month, several people, including local lawmaker Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma and Senior Superintendent of Police Love Kumar, were injured when a clash erupted between two communities during a rally to mark BR Ambedkar's birth anniversary in Sadak Dudhali village in Saharanpur. Two cases were registered against Mr Sharma and a dozen others. 

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