BJP lawmaker Raghav Lakhanpal declares that he will get Saharanpur SSP transferred out.
Over a 100 armed policemen have been deployed to keep peace in the Saharanpur village where two groups clashed on Thursday after one, backed by BJP lawmaker Raghav Lakhanpal, tried to forcibly take out a procession to mark Ambedkar Jayanti. Such processions have been banned for years in the locality because it could lead to violence. It did, forcing the police to crack down both sides and cut short the procession, called a Shoba Yatra.
Angry that their procession had been cut short, a mob landed at the district's Senior Superintendent of Police Love Kumar's house. After some of them broke the CCTV camera, some chairs and the police officer's nameplate to make their point, Mr Lakhanpal - who was later named in two cases of rioting - made a short speech.
"If they (police) had any brains, they would have raided those houses (from where stones were allegedly thrown)... and let our procession be completed," the lawmaker from western Uttar Pradesh's communally-sensitive Saharanpur said.
"But they did not do it," he said, before pledging to get the Captaan
, as the district police chief is colloquially referred to, sacked.
"Because the Captaan
(worthless). Now this Captaan
will be removed from here. A new Captaan
will come and the new Captaan
will get our procession to pass through, with planning," the 40-year-old politician said. The next procession will have 5,000 people.
That Thursday's procession was just 100 metres short of its destination when the police dispersed them, he declared, was a big achievement, something that had not happened in seven years.
A management graduate and alumni of Doon School in Dehradun, the BJP leader had won against the Congress' Imran Masood in 2014. A three-time legislator, he was later widely considered to be a contender for a ministerial berth in the Modi Government. This is his first time in the Lok Sabha.
Like Mr Lakhanpal, the local police too thought that they had done a good job; requisitioned forces in advance and dispersed the procession before things got out of hand and people lost their lives.
Mr Kumar - who took over the district in January on the Election Commission's orders - said people had received minor injuries in the clashes.
Not to be left behind, the Samajwadi Party on Saturday ordered its four legislators from neighbouring constituencies to drive down to the Sadak Dudhali village to meet the group. Determined not to let any group politicise the clashes any more, the police have refused to let them into the village.
Sulkhan Singh, the state's new police chief, promised action against the trouble makers.