Were top-most UP officials too casual to handle Saharanpur situation ?
Lucknow: The Dalit-Thakur riots in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh may have taken toll of DM and SSP but fact remained that it was poor monitoring from the top officials. The then Principal Secretary (home ) Debashish Panda and Director General of Police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh had visited the district on May 8 last but did not take pain to visit the spot Shabbirpur village from where the whole trouble had sparked off.
Many senior officers, who are in the know of things, are of definite opinion that had these officials visited the spot, the situation would not have worsened which ultimately led to killing of two persons, one dalit and a OBC, '' It is more of a poor judgement on the part of seniors that a simple law and order situation turned into a sectarian clash leaving trail of caste disharmony, seldom witnessed in the state in such proportion,'' a senior police official on the condition of anonymity told newstrack.com.
The whole trouble had started on April 20 last in Sadak Dudhali village during a Dalit procession to celebrate BR Ambedkar’s birth centenary. It followed another round of riots on May 5 over a dispute over loud music being played during a procession being taken out by some youths belonging to the upper caste Thakur community from Shabbirpur village who were going to garland a statue of Maharana Pratap.
Meanwhile,an agitated mob had stormed into the house of the then Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and had ransacked it. Several persons were injured in the violence and BJP MP from Saharanpur Raghav Lakhanpal was among those booked in connection with the incident.
It was sheer misreading of the situation that it later turned out into a class clash leaving the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led Yogi government in a catch-22 situation since it wanted to adopt a appeasement route which was the wrong interpretation of the law and order. Similarly, the situation before the visit of BSP leader Mayawati on Tuesday was also allowed to go haywire despite the prevailing tension in the district.
The simmering discontent over having being given a raw deal, the dalits should have been heard and pacified by the visiting DGP but he did not bother to go to the spot and wound up his visit at the District headquarters. Was it not the right move to ask the IG , Meerut to camp in the troubled village till the normalisation ?
A posse of police personnel and a number of senior officers were rushed to Saharanpur but not before it has already taken heavy toll of tranquility of the Western UP district. In a swift move, the state government suspended DM N P Singh and SSP Subhash Chandra Dubey posting P K Pandey and Babloo Kumar, the SSP of adjacent Muzaffarnagar district, as new incumbents.