Succumbing to caste politics, the Samajwadi Party government has moved the two BJP legislators arrested for fomenting the Muzaffarnagar riots out of Banda and Orai jails.
Shifting Sangeet Singh Som and Suresh Rana to the Muzaffarnagar jail was the main demand of their Thakur supporters, hundreds of whom had been lathicharged and fired at by the police when they tried to hold a Mahapanchayat in Khera village of Sardhana last Sunday. The Khera clash had left three dozen people injured, a car and an OB van of TV channel in ashes, and three government vehicles damaged.
And Friday, hundreds of their supporters gathered at the Muzaffarnagar court when the MLAs were taken there and shouted anti-government slogans. The agitators invaded the premises despite the police’s efforts to keep them out and refused to clear out even when the Rapid Action Force warned them of lathicharge.
Reporters at the court surrounded the MLAs. Som condemned the “misrule” of the Akhilesh Yadav government. “People at Khera were seeking justice for their leaders yet the police opened fire on them. The manner in which locals were fired at by policemen in plainclothes reminded us of the British rule,” he said.
Rana claimed the “unprovoked police action” in Khera would wipe the SP off the political map of western UP.
The state, meanwhile, has sent Onkar Singh, a Thakur, an SSP of Meerut to assuage the community, which is enraged over “police excesses” on its Mahapanchayat.