Saharanpur Tense After Bhim Army Leader's Brother Shot Dead Ahead of Maharana Pratap Jayanti

File photo of clashes in Saharanpur. (PTI)

File photo of clashes in Saharanpur. (PTI)

Last year, Dalits and Rajputs had clashed during the Maharana Pratap Jayanti festivities leaving one person dead and 16 others, including one head constable, injured.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad
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Lucknow: The situation in Saharanpur is getting tenser by the minute after Bhim Army regional president Kamal Walia’s brother Sachin was shot by unknown assailants. The victim was rushed to the district hospital but he could not be revived.

The Bhim Army had warned residents from celebrating Maharana Pratap Jayanti, leading to 800 police personnel being deployed at the Maharana Pratap Bhawan. The administration, too, was cautious in its approach and only have 200 people permission to celebrate the occasion.

Sachin's family members are now claiming that the administration got him killed by giving permission for celebrating Maharana Pratap Jayanti. Last year, Dalits and Rajputs had clashed during the festivities leaving one person dead and 16 others, including one head constable, injured.

Mobile internet services have been stopped in the region as a precautionary measure. Soeaking to News18, Saharanpur SSP Babloo Kumar said, "There was enough police force on this route due to Maharana Pratap Jayanti. Sachin Walia was already dead when he was brought to the hospital. One of the LIU inspector who reached the accident site was told that someone has fallen from the terrace and rushed to the hospital."

Some people were seen washing the blood stains outside the accident site. Prima- facie evidence suggests the incident is doubtful. The injury hints that the firearm was fired from a close range," he said.

"The family of the deceased is unable to tell the exact location of the incident as of now. Investigation in the case is underway," added SSP Saharanpur, Babloo Kumar.​

In 2017, tensions were at its peak in Shabbirpur and Simlana villages after members of the Dalit community protested against a procession being led by the Thakur community through a Dalit temple of Saint Ravidas without prior permission of the local administration. The conflict had caused several Dalit houses in Shabbirpur to go up in flames after the Thakur community allegedly set fire to homes in retaliation to the protests.

The main challenge for administration at the moment is to diffuse the situation. Heavy security force has been deployed at the Malhipur road under Sadar Bazar police station.

Earlier, after last year’s conflicts, permission to celebrate Maharana Pratap Jayanti was denied by the police and administration but later rescinded after the Kshatriya Community threatened to boycott the Kairana bypolls.

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