Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh has witnessed caste-related violence recently. With an aim to pacify agitators in the area, RSS and BJP leaders have been meeting with prominent persons from Thakur and Dalit communities, according to IE report. In the last three days, over 30 such meetings have taken place in different villages in all seven assembly segments of Saharanpur — Behat, Nakur, Saharanpur Nagar, Saharanpur Dehat, Deoband, Gangoh and Rampur Maniharan. Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath government had suspended the superintendent of police (SSP) and district magistrate (DM) posted in Saharanpur. The state government also transferred the divisional commissioner and the deputy inspector general (DIG).
On May 27, Rahul Gandhi had met the victims of Saharanpur caste clashes and their family members at the border of the district after authorities denied him permission to visit the violence-hit area. BSP chief Mayawati had recently toured the village and lashed out at the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government for “failing to maintain law and order” in the state.
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Saharanpur has witnessed widespread caste-based clashes this month. Violence first broke out in Saharanpur about 40 days ago following a procession to mark Ambedkar Jayanti. On May 5, a person was killed and 15 people were injured in clashes between two communities.
BJP has ruled out any political agenda behind this move. “Everyone, including the RSS, wants peace. Both Thakurs and Dalits had voted for me. We are not doing votebank politics in favour of any caste as done by other parties. They were the ones who lost elections and are disturbing the atmosphere here,” Saharanpur BJP MLA Kunwar Brijesh Singh was quoted as saying by IE. “RSS local office-bearers remain present in these peace meetings. Since they are not political faces, their presence gives a message that meetings have no political motive,” said another BJP leader.
According to IE report, RSS Prant Pracharak Karmveer Singh and Vibhag Pracharak Pritam Singh had been present during a few of these meetings.