Saharanpur violence: UP govt transfers 2 police officers

Saharanpur: A day after a police post was burnt and over 20 vehicles torched in caste-based violence here, two police officers were today transferred from their posts.

SP (City) Sanjay Singh and SP (Rural) Rafeeq Ahmed have been transfered from Saharanpur, official sources said. While Prabal Pratap Singh is the new SP (City), Vidya Sagar takes over from Ahmed.

Several instances of stone pelting and clashes were reported yesterday from across Saharanpur, which has been witnessing caste-based violence since Friday.

However, peace prevailed in the city today.

According to police, an organisation of Dalits had sought permission to hold a ‘mahapanchayat’ yesterday in the city’s Gandhi Park to demand compensation and relief for those affected in last week’s inter-caste clashes.

Senior Superintendent of Police Subhash Chand Dubey said the district administration had not permitted any such gathering. Police acted against the people gathered for the ‘mahapanchayat’ which led to tension and a stampede-like situation.

Several commuters were manhandled and their vehicles set on fire. Some mediapersons were also beaten up and their vehicles damaged.

Police teams were pelted with stones. A police ‘chowki’ was set ablaze while several police vehicles were damaged.

Protesters also blocked the Chakrota road near Nazirpura while a building was burnt down on Malhipur road.

Last week, one person was killed and at least 15 people, including a police officer, were injured as members of two castes clashed over loud music being played during a procession.

The incident led to more violence with brickbats and arson; while 15 to 20 Dalit houses were torched, many vehicles, including those of the police, were torched.