LUCKNOW: As violence continued on the second consecutive day in trouble-torn Saharanpur, the Uttar Pradesh government suspended the district magistrate (DM) NP Singh and senior superintendent of police (SSP) Subhash Chandra Dubey on Wednesday.
While SSP of Muzaffarnagar, Babloo Kumar was sent to Saharanpur in the same capacity, Pramod Kumar Pandey has been appointed as the new DM.
Pandey was sent to Saharanpur by a State plane in the evening to take charge immediately. He had been holding the post of additional chief electoral officer (CEO) in Lucknow.
Earlier, the district administration lodged three FIRs against trouble-makers and 24 people were arrested for Tuesday’s clashes which left one person dead and six injured. The Uttar Pradesh government, meanwhile, announced a financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh for the family of Ashish (24) of Sarsawan town, who was killed in the unrest and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.
In another incident, one person was shot at and two were attacked in Nanota Badgaon area on Wednesday morning. The one who was shot later succumbed in the hospital. The police authorities, however, denied that the incident was related to the ongoing violence. “It was a case of loot and intimidation,” said SP (City) Prabal Pratap Singh.
So far, four officers have been suspended in violence-ridden Saharanpur. Earlier, after the first round of caste clashes in the district on April 20, axe had fallen on two senior police officers —SP(City) Vidya Sagar and SP (rural) Rafeeq Ahmad. Over three dozen people have been arrested in cases of caste violence.
“We will leave no stone unturned to stop the unrest and to bring normalcy back to the district as soon as possible,” said ADG (Law &Order) Aditya Mishra. He added the special team of officers of which he is also a part would stay put in Saharanpur till the situation became normal.
According to the ADG, mistrust had set in between both the communities. “Police administration now has the onerous task to reconstruct the shattered faith. We will ensure impartiality while dealing with the situation and see to it that such incidents are not repeated,” said ADG Mishra adding that authorities would not let anyone raise a finger on the police department.
Meanwhile, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed to the people of Saharanpur to maintain peace and harmony. He also assured the people of Saharanpur the troublemakers would not be spared and won’t be allowed to go unpunished.
Violence had again broke out on Tuesday in Saharanpur's Shabbirpur village as some unidentified people had set afire at least 12 houses of Thakurs ahead of the arrival of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
After Mayawati’s visit to the trouble-torn village, a mob of sword-wielding Thakurs attacked the vehicle of some BSP supporters who were returning from BSP chief’s meeting. In the clash, one person was shot dead and six others were left injured. They were later admitted to the district hospital.
While Mayawati held the State government responsible for the unrest in the district, UP government’s official spokesman and power minister Shrikant Sharma said the BSP chief’s visit had lead to the latest flare-up. Shabbirpur is home to around 600 Dalits and over 900 Thakurs.