UP police deny Rahul Gandhi permission to visit riot-hit Saharanpur

Despite not getting permission from Uttar Pradesh administration to visit Saharanpur, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday morning left for the riot-hit area.

No official reason has been cited for the action, but it is believed that the top officials were removed after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed displeasure as they could not control the situation in Saharanpur district. Mr Mishra did not name Mr Gandhi, but said political leaders will have to wait for a few days before they can plan visits to Saharanpur, about 181 km from national capital Delhi. Mayawati said ever since the BJP came to power in UP, the law and order situation had deteriorated, as was the case in other BJP-ruled states.

The Saharanpur district authorities had yesterday refused permission to Gandhi to visit the strife-torn district. The State government also said that Chandrashekhar Azad of a local Dalit outfit Bhim Sena would be arrested soon, in association with the violence in the region.

"Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has not been given permission to visit Saharanpur", news agency Press Trust of India quoted another senior police officer Bablu Kumar as saying.

The recent spate of caste-based violence was a well-planned conspiracy and those responsible will not be spared, Uttar Pradesh's principal home secretary, Mani Prasad Mishra, said on Friday.

Fresh clashes broke out in the area during her visit.

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He plans to visit Shabbirpur village, the epicentre of clashes between Dalits and Thakurs or Rajputs since last month.

"Some forces are out to create disturbances in the state as they are unable to digest the welfare steps of the state government in public interest", the Chief Minister said in a statement here.

Saharanpur has been witnessing inter-caste clashes since April.

On May 5 also, a clash had occurred between the two communities when protests were raised over loud music played in connection with the celebration of Maharana Pratap Jayanti in Shabbirpur village.

Earlier in the day, Saharanpur District Magistrate Nagendra Parsad Singh was sacked over the administration's failure to curb clashes between the two communities.

  • Megan Austin