RAHUL HEADS TO VIOLENCE-HIT SAHARANPUR DESPITE PERMISSION BEING DENIED; BORDERS SEALED

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The Saharanpur violence was perhaps inevitable because of the nature of the electoral victory itself. There are two ways to view the caste clashes – through the prism of politics and through the prism of governance. And either way, it is not good news for the BJP. — PTI

Clashes between the Dalits and Rajputs erupted on May 5 in Shabbirpur village after objections were raised over the playing of loud music in connection with the celebration of the birth anniversary of warrior king Maharana Pratap.

LUCKNOW (IANS) Even as Uttar Pradesh authorities kept a close watch, Saharanpur borders were ordered to be sealed on Saturday to prevent Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi from visiting survivors of the caste violence that has hit the district.

The Congress leader had started for his proposed visit from New Delhi to the district despite denial of permission by state authorities, police said.

Senior civil and police officials, including Deputy Inspector General (Security) Vijay Bhushan were camping on the Uttar Pradesh-Haryana border at Sarsava to intercept Gandhi’s motorcade.

On Friday, the Uttar Pradesh government denied permission to Gandhi to visit the villages where caste conflicts since May 5 have left at least two dead and over two dozen others injured, until the situation returns to normal.

Clashes between the Dalits and Rajputs erupted on May 5 in Shabbirpur village after objections were raised over the playing of loud music in connection with the celebration of the birth anniversary of warrior king Maharana Pratap.

“We are committed to ensure peace and harmony in the region and will not allow any political leader to visit the places that have been singed by caste clashes over the past few days,” a senior Home Department official told IANS.

He said senior state officials are camping in the district to monitor the situation.

Already embarrassed by another bout of violence after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s visit to the district this week, the district administration is not willing to take chances.

Despite being denied permission for a visit, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday left for Uttar Pradesh’s violence-hit Saharanpur district where caste conflict has left two dead and scores injured.

Gandhi left from Delhi with senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar.

He is travelling by road after his chopper was denied landing permission by the state administration following Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s order to not allow political leaders from visiting Saharanpur.

On Friday, the Uttar Pradesh government denied permission to Gandhi to visit the violence-hit villages of Saharanpur district.

The permission was denied based on the state policy of keeping the region out of bounds for leaders until the situation returns to normal

The state government’s move comes after the violence in Saharanpur raised with the visit of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati earlier this week.

Former union minister Kumar Shailja and senior Congress leader P.L. Punia were denied permission to visit Saharanpur.

According to the district Congress leaders, Gandhi will only meet the injured persons in hospital and not visit the spots where clashes were reported.

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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