Union minister Sanjiv Baliyan has blamed two former BSP legislators for the caste-based violence at Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh. He alleged the former legislators had funded the Bheem Army, considered to be behind the flare-up in Saharanpur, wherein two persons were killed and a dozen policemen injured in a series of incidents between May 5 and May 23. “Two former BSP legislators have forced caste and communal conflict in western Uttar Pradesh…a thorough investigation into these cases is on and several people have been identified…all those guilty will have to go to jail,” Baliyan told reporters here yesterday.
The Minister of State for Water Resources said both the former BSP legislators had been close to previous chief ministers. “One of them is also involved with the mining mafia,” he alleged. The BJP leader also blamed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
On the 40-year-old Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, Baliyan said water cannot be stopped under the pact but dams could be built. The Indus Waters Treaty has been an outstanding example of conflict resolution but scarcity of water in the basin states since the early 1990s has brought the agreement under strain and its “survival appears weak”, according to a UN report.
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The treaty permitted India to create storages on the western rivers of 1.25, 1.60 and 0.75 million acre feet (MAF) for general, power and flood storages, respectively, amounting to a total permissible storage of 3.6 MAF.