Several Congress leaders have raised a question on the silence of party vice president Rahul Gandhi over the caste violence in Saharanpur, according to Indian Express report. The leaders also asked why Rahul has not visited ground zero even as the party demanded an independent probe into the matter and flayed Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh. According to the report, many within the Congress felt that party has failed to recognise the magnitude of the event. They believed that party should have raised its voice more aggressively. A senior party leader told IE, Congress had lost the UP Assembly elections but it cannot disengage with such issues.
The Congress on Wednesday fielded the party’s Scheduled Caste department head, K Raju, to take on the BJP-led government in UP. The party has accused the state government of failing to protect Dalits. The Congress also demanded the immediate arrest of all accused, setting up of a special court for speedy trial and action against administration and police officials and the district magistrate. Notably, the state government on Wednesday suspended the DM and SSP of Saharanpur.
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Raju said, “The administration should understand they are duty-bound to immediately provide relief, rehabilitation and compensation to Dalit victims as provided under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989, as amended in 2015. Special public prosecutors have to be appointed and chargesheet against the accused be filed within 60 days of the incident. Also, the special court has to deliver the judgment within 120 days,” Raju said, as per IE report.
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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had assured that strong action is being taken against all those responsible for the violence in Saharanpur and appealed for calm, saying people should not pay heed to inflammatory speeches and help maintain peace and order.
Mobile internet and messaging services were suspended last night in the violence-hit district of Uttar Pradesh, with officials saying the decision was taken to maintain peace and ensure law and order.
Violence had erupted for the second day yesterday in Saharanpur as unidentified gunmen shot and seriously injured a member of the upper-caste Thakur community, which is embroiled in a bloody conflict with Dalits.
The incident took place on Janta road in Janakpuri area. Pradeep Chauhan was shot at near Punwarka block by some motorcycle-borne men, SP Prabal Pratap Singh said.