Lucknow: Two people were killed as violent clashes broke out yesterday in Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh over a land dispute. Two groups fought pitched battles and burnt several vehicles, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who assured him that the situation would be contained soon.
The situation continued to be tense late yesterday, as heavy security was deployed by the state government, officials said.
Over a dozen policemen were also injured in the violence. Curfew continues in a few areas under six police stations.
Police have arrested over a dozen people for inciting violence over a land dispute and sources in the home department said the tense situation was now under control.
Eight companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), six of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and two companies of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) were deployed in the violence-hit areas.
Rajnath Singh spoke to Akhilesh Yadav about the violence, and sources said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister assured the union home minister that the situation would be brought under control soon.
Yadav has sought a detailed report on the clashes that left two dead, from the Director General of Police (DGP) A.L. Banerjee and Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan.
A team of home department and senior police officials also briefed the chief minister on the day’s developments.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also spoke to Akhilesh Yadav and expressed concern over the incidents that unfolded in Saharanpur during the day.
Violent clashes erupted in Saharanpur and the national highway connecting Ambala was thrown out of gear as protesters went on a rampage.
District officials said curfew was clamped in the urban areas of the district after over two dozen shops and vehicles were gutted in the violence. Sources said the brawl began with a verbal spat over a gurdwara and some construction taking place adjacent to it.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress leaders condemned the violence and slammed the state government for its failure to control the law and order situation in the state.
The BJP’s state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said it was most unfortunate that while the state government did not miss any opportunity to blame his party for any communal tension, the government’s failure to check small incidents was at the root of all troubles in the state.