Other States

Tension after murder of Bhim Army member

Dalit groups hold protest in Saharanpur

Saharanpur was tense after Sachin Walia, a Bhim Army member and brother of the group’s local president Kamal Walia, was killed by unidentified assailants near the celebration venue of Maharana Pratap Jayanti on Wednesday.

The news of Sachin’s murder led to immediate protest by Dalit groups as May 9 marks the anniversary of the violent caste clashes between Thakurs and Dalits in Saharanpur last year.

District Magistrate of Saharanpur P.K. Pandey and Senior Superintendent of Police Babloo Kumar rushed to the spot and ordered a probe.

According to the police Sachin was shot by unidentified culprits from a spot which was near to the venue of Maharana Pratap Jayanti. Immeidately after he was shot, he was taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. The SSP told the media that the police was probing the matter and would arrest the culprits soon.

While the police was tight-lipped about the motive of the murder, Sachin's family members alleged that he was shot dead due to police's “relaxed attitude” towards dalits and members of bhim army.

Given that the murder happened on the anniversary of the caste clashes in Saharanpur, police has immediately deployed police force in Saharanpur and has asked for more police force from nearby districts. The SSP Mr. Kumar has appealed people not to believe in rumours.

The local administration gave permission to Rajput and Thakur outfits to celebrate Maharana Pratap Jayanti celebration on Wednesday.

Reacting to the murder, Amnesty International called for immediate probe. Asmita Basu, programmes director, Amnesty International India, said, “The Uttar Pradesh government must investigate whether Sachin Walia was killed in a hate crime. Around this time last year, Dalits in Saharanpur district faced several caste-based attacks whose perpetrators are yet to be punished. Uttar Pradesh authorities must ensure that similar attacks don’t occur again.”

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 3:34:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tension-after-murder-of-bhim-army-member/article23828330.ece

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