SAHARANPUR: Fresh violence erupted in Saharanpur on Tuesday following BSP chief Mayawati’s visit to the strife-torn Shabbirpur village, leaving a person dead and six injured.
According to local sources, clashes broke out between groups of Rajputs and Dalits on the day Mayawati visited Shabbirpur village in the district which had witnesssed large-scale violence early this month. This was the third round of violent clashes between the two castes in a month’s time.
On Tuesday, when some unidentified people set afire at least 12 houses of Thakurs in Shabbirpur village, both the sections clashed, vandalising houses and properties of each other, said the SP (City).
After the visit of BSP supremo, who reached Shabbirpur at 3:30 pm, fresh violence took place as Thakurs, brandishing swords, attacked the vehicle of Dalits in Chandrapur village, adjoining Shabbirpur, while they were returning after attending Mayawati's meeting.
According to Police sources, the attackers allegedly fired from guns and wielded lathis, killing a person named Ashish (24) of adjoining Sarsawan town on the spot and injuring six others. The injured were later admitted to district hospital.
As the news of the incident reached other parts of the district, Dalits took to streets and indulged in rioting and stone pelting at some places, forcing closure of markets. BSP supporters were protesting at the district hospital till latest reports came in while all senior officials including DM NP Singh and SSP SC Dubey were present at the site of violence.
Heavy police contingent and Rapid Action Force were deployed in the area and ADG, Meerut, Anand Kumar was on his way to Saharanpur.
In Saharanpur, Rajputs and Dalits have been clashing since April when a dispute between the two had erupted over the installation of the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar.
Later, on May 5, when Rajputs were taking out a procession on Maharana Pratap’s birth anniversary, it was intercepted and opposed by the Dalit community of the same village. Consequently, both the communities indulged in violent clashes in which one person had died and over a dozen were injured.