Ashes from Bhatta-Parasaul sent for forensic tests

A day after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi raised the issue of alleged burning of people in Bhatta-Parasaul, the focal point of farmers' stir on land acquisition issue, ashes from a site were on Tuesday lifted and sent to a forensic laboratory for examination.

I-G (Meerut) Rajni Kant Mishra denied allegations that people were burnt to death in the village but said seven fire tenders were put in operation to extinguish a fire.

“If the administration had ignited the fire to set the men ablaze, they would not have called firemen,” he said here, referring to the fire that had broken out on the night of May 7, the day when four people -- two police personnel and as many farmers -- were killed in clashes during the agitation.

“The ashes of cow-dung heaps and fields which were burnt in fire were not razed. Media persons were allowed to enter the village and see the burnt-out materials,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi had on Monday alleged that huge heaps of ash carrying burnt bodies had been found in the villages where farmers were agitating for better compensation for their land acquired by the Mayawati government.

About the missing persons in the village, Commissioner (Meerut) Bhuvnesh Kumar said: “Till date, only one person's missing complaint has been received. He was found to be admitted at a Delhi hospital”.

Mr. Kumar said several persons were not coming back to the village out of fear. He, however, assured the villagers that no innocent person will be arrested.

“We will identify the anti-social elements through video clippings and only the guilty will be arrested. No innocent person will be arrested,” Mr. Mishra said.

District Magistrate Deepak Aggarwal said Section 144 CrPC had been lifted now as normalcy was returning to the village. - PTI

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