A day after police arrested the main accused in the Sonbhadra incident, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, on Friday, 19 July, said the sub divisional magistrate and four other officials have been suspended and 29 people arrested.
The Sonbhadra incident saw 10 people get killed in shootout over land dispute in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, 17 July.
Adityanath also assured ‘strict’ action against those responsible. A committee under the additional chief secretary (Revenue) has also been constituted and will give its report within 10 days, the chief minister said.
Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi was detained while she was on her way to meet the victims’ families and those injured.
“Despite dispute between the two factions in the past and apprehensions of breach of peace, adequate action was not taken by officers. SDM, Circle officer and Inspector, all posted in Ghorawal have been suspended on basis of the probe committee, constituted on 17 July report. Beat sub-inspector and constable have also been suspended.”Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Speaking at a press conference later, the chief minister held the policies of the previous Congress regime responsible for the incident.
Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to slam the Adityanath-ruled BJP government in the state and said the families of the deceased must be given Rs 20-25 lakh as compensation and the culprits must be punished. An investigation team of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) will, on Monday, visit Sonbhadra district.
The team led by NCST Chairman Nand Kumar Sai will meet the family members of those killed, and police and administration officials.
The incident took place on Wednesday when the victims resisted an attempt by the village headman and his supporters to take possession of 90 bighas of disputed land in Ghorawal area of the district.
Police on Thursday arrested the main accused, village headman Yagya Dutt, whose henchmen opened fire.
An FIR has been lodged against 61 people including 11 named.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
According to UP DGP OP Singh, the land in the district's Ghorawal area belonged to an IAS officer who had sold it to the village head who wanted to take its possession.
When Dutt reached the spot with his henchmen in 10 to 12 tractors, local villagers tried to stop them from taking over the land, police said. Those accompanying him then showered a hail of bullets on villagers, all tribals, killing 10 of them.
The condition of some of the 18 injured is said to be stable. Some of them with minor injuries have been discharged.
LEADERS DEMAND ACTION
The Congress on Friday directed all its state units and departments to protest against the “atrocities perpetrated on the common man by the BJP government.”
BSP supremo Mayawati, meanwhile, tweeted against the killings and accused both the BJP and the Congress of continued "harassment of tribals" and demanded justice for the victims.
Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter to slam the Adityanath-ruled BJP government in the state and said the families of the deceased must be given Rs 20-25 lakh as compensation and the culprits must be punished.
SP members on Thursday created an uproar in the Upper House of the UP legislature over what they termed as deteriorating law and order situation in the state, referring to the Sonbhadra incident.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also termed the killing of the villagers in UP as "shocking" and criticised the Yogi Adityanath-led government over the spate of murders in the state.
"Under the BJP government the confidence of criminals has grown so much that murders are being committed in daylight. In Sonbhadra, the killing of 9 people, including three women, belonging to the Gond community has shaken the conscience. The chief minister, his ministers and the administration are all sleeping. Is this how the state will become crime-free?" she said in a tweet in Hindi.
(With inputs from PTI)