1 killed, dozens injured in caste violence in northern India

1 killed, dozens injured in caste violence in northern India

Even before the BSP could have come to terms with being relegated to a poor third, managing merely 19 seats (in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly), 61 down from 2012, it is faced with a new challenge in the form of the Bheem Army which has taken the winds out of its sails following Saharanpur caste clashes. "The steady deterioration in the situation is a result of the support the upper caste perpetrators of violence are receiving from the state government and the lack of will displayed by the administration for taking action against them", the party said and demanded the government to take firm action against all those involved in the atrocities against the Dalits.

According to an Outlook report, during her visit to Shabbirpur village, the BSP chief blamed the BJP-led UP government for the continuing violence and said that they had failed to stop their own party brigades from inciting clashes.

Since then Dalits have alleged harassment by the upper-caste men, who they say prevented them from installing a statue of low-caste hero BR Ambedkar on the premises of a local temple.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), meanwhile, traded charges against each other over the violence.

One person was killed and four others were injured yesterday as fresh violence erupted in Saharanpur, which has been witnessing inter-caste clashes since last month. On 5 May, a Dalit man was killed, at least 14 seriously injured, and at least 50 Dalit homes partially or completely burnt in Shabbirpur village by dominant caste Thakur men, following a clash between members of the two communities over a dispute about a procession.

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No official reason has been cited for the action, but it is believed that the top officials were removed after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed displeasure as they could not control the situation in Saharanpur district.

Saharanpur: Senior Superintendent of Police S Dubey on Wednesday said that 24 people have been arrested so far in connection with the clashes between two communities in Saharanpur yesterday.

A team of four officials including the Home Secretary, Additional Director General (ADG) Law and Order Aditya Mishra, Inspector General (Special Task Force) Amitabh Yash and DG Security Vijay Bhushan were flown down in a special plane to the violence-hit area late on Tuesday night. The government has announced that it will provide 20,000 rupees as compensation to those affected by the 5 May violence, and 1,500,000 rupees as compensation to the family of the man killed on 23 May. He asked people to avoid inflammatory speeches and urged them to help in maintaining peace and order.

Reports said that the police stopped the Maharana Pratap procession after some Dalits informed the police.

Mayawati snapped back by saying that neither she nor any leader of her party was linked to the Bheem Army - a regional outfit accused of stoking the fires between the Dalits and the Rajputs.