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1 killed, dozens injured in caste violence in northern India

1 killed, dozens injured in caste violence in northern India

Aiming at revival of peace in the violence-stricken Saharanpur, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday urged Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati not to add oil in the prevailing tense situation.

Ms Mayawati, whose party draws crucial support from Dalits, has accused the BJP-led UP government of failing to stop attacks on weaker sections. The intervention of the police prevented a flare-up at the time.

One person was killed and four others were injured on Tuesday as fresh violence erupted in Saharanpur, which has been witnessing inter-caste clashes since April. Nitin died on the way while Yashpal was admitted in a hospital in critical condition. "We have been asked to monitor the situation continuously and report any tension immediately", said Sunil Kumar, Assistant commissioner (trade) Saharanpur.

As word spread, Dalit groups in the city allegedly rioted and threw stones, forcing shops and markets to close. Thakurs attacked two persons sleeping in a brick kiln in Mirzapur with sharp-edged weapons, presuming them to be Dalits. A four-member BSP delegation will meet Chief Minister Adityanath to demand adequate compensation for the victims, stern action against the guilty and free treatment for the injured, she said in the statement.

As soon as the news about the violence emerged, police reinforcements were called in to contain the spillover.

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The administration's allegation that the Bhim Army was responsible for triggering the May 9 violence cuts no ice with the community members who say the administration's charges are false and baseless. The UP government has announced Rs 15 lakh as compensation to the family of the man and Rs 50,000 each to those injured.

Refusing to comment on UP government's statement blaming Mayawati, UP Police Chief Sulkhan Singh said, "I may not allow politicians to visit Saharanpur".

Talking to media persons at Saharanpur this evening, Home Secretary Mani Prasad Misra and ADG Law and Order Aditya Misra said that strict actions will be taken against culprits of violence and arson and innocent people will not be touched.

This is not the first instance of violence in the region. In the last few weeks, there have been several clashes between Dalit and Rajput groups. "People will not accept such anti- Dalit party", she said. "Therefore, the Dalits objected to the Thakurs' Maharana Pratap procession that also didn't have permission", said Mayawati. They refer to Ambedkar merely for votes.

Uttar Pradesh, is India's most populous state and has a history of religious and caste violence.

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