Home English Articles Uttar Pradesh : Conflict or conspiracy behind Saharanpur clashes

Uttar Pradesh : Conflict or conspiracy behind Saharanpur clashes


With the entry of many players in the scene, there seems to be a big conspiracy to disturb peace in the State and prove the State government inefficient

Saharanpur, normally a calm and peaceful District in doaaba of Ganga-Yamuna Rivers in Western Uttar Pradesh, is in the news for wrong reasons. Residents of the District never witnessed the types of caste-conflicts they have seen now for about three weeks. Every citizen of the District bordering Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh feels ashamed of the caste clashes happened at Shabbirpur Village on May 5, 9, 23 and 24.

Amidst these conflicts another similar but interesting incident took place at nearby Mirzapur Village on May 19. When some miscreants damaged the statue of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar in the village, the prominent persons from Rajput and Dalit communities, without wasting time, replaced the damaged statue with the new one. This shows both the communities want to live in peaceful and cordial atmosphere. The things deteriorated on May 23 after the visit of BSP supremo Mayawati to Shabbirpur Village. Before her arrival in the village, some miscreants attacked the houses of Rajputs. After her rally, the caste clashes erupted and spread to nearby villages like Chandpur also.

Mayawati, as usual, blamed the BJP government for the clashes. But if one goes into depth, one finds that the BJP is nowhere in the picture. The epicentre of all the incidents is Shabbirpur, a Rajput dominated village where the Village Pradhan, Shivkumar, is a Dalit. About 3-4 years back, during Akhilesh Yadav’s regime, Dalits wanted to install the statue of Dr Ambedkar in Sant Ravidas Temple. But the then District Administration did not allow them. Since then the statue is laying at the village temple. At that time neither Mayawati nor Bhimsena chief Chandra Shekhar blamed Akhilesh government for not permitting the installation of the statue. But, suddenly after the change of guard in the State the issue of statue became important.

Before analysing the facts associated with the whole controversy and also to understand the conspiracy that seem to be taking a shape in the name of the conflicts, let us have a look at the chronology of events:

  •     On May 5, the Rajputs were celebrating Maharana Pratap Jayanti in the nearby Shimlana Village. When the procession was passing through Shabbirpur Village, some village youth raised the issue of Dr Ambedkar’s statue. That led to the caste clashes.
  •     On May 9, Bhimsena chief Chandra Shekhar declared to organise a demonstration at Gandhi Park of Saharanpur to protest against the May 5 incident. But the District Administration did not allow him. After that what happened in Saharanpur was shocking. All roads connecting the city were turned into battlefields by the Bhimsena supporters.
  •     On May 21, Chandra Shekhar organised a demonstration in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. JNU’s infamous character Kanhaiya Kumar and his team also joined the protest. Slogans raised there were the same that the nation heard during the infamous JNU episode. Chandra Shekhar delivered a fiery speech and went on saying that he accepts to become a Naxalite for the cause of society. While saying this he forgot the teachings of Dr Ambedkar, whose name he used for his newly floated organisation. Dr Ambedkar always advocated education not violence.
  •     On May 23, BSP chief Mayawati organised a rally at Shabbirpur Village. It was after her rally that the clashes erupted.
  •     On May 25, a 25-year-old youth Pradeep Chauhan, a resident of Ahsanwali, was shot. The State Government suspended the SP and DM.
  •     Former BSP MLA, Ravindra Molhu, made a fiery speech at Ambedkar Hostel after the May 5 incident.
  •     Some local Rajput leaders of Samajwadi Party also provoked their youth leaders against Dalits.

The fact, which needs emphasis here is that Chandra Shekhar and his Bhim Sena, the new entrants in the fight for Dalit votes, emerged as a new force on May 9. Prior to that Mayawati was the sole leader of Dalits in UP. Saharanpur has been a strong bastion of BSP since 1996. Mayawati was herself elected for UP Assembly in 1996 and in 2002 from Harora constituency. In 1996, BSP won two seats. In 2002, it won 4 seats and in 2007 it won 5 seats here. In 2012, it won four seats. But in the recent Assembly polls, the BSP lost its bastion to the BJP. Congress won two seats, while the SP won one. Earlier, in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP could not even open its account in the State. Hence, it is a do or die situation for Mayawati and BSP.

After recent Assembly polls, Mayawati is facing problems at various fronts. There is unrest in her own party. She even expelled her second in command Nasimuddin Siddiqui. Now, Bhim Sena emerged as a big threat to her leadership. Keeping the threat in mind, she instructed her supporters on May 23 at Shabbirpur rally to organise all demonstrations under the banner of BSP and not under any smaller front.

Now there is blame game for the violence. But they forgot that Maharana Pratap could fight against Mughals only with the help of the so-called downtrodden only. Without unity of the society no one can achieve anything. Any how, the situation should be controlled at the earliest, because it may become a big challenge in the coming days. It is obvious that there some elements have entered the scene with some hidden agendas and there is a conspiracy to disturb the peace of the entire State and prove the State Government inefficient. It is time to act sternly against the destructive elements.

Dr Ravindra Agrawal

Courtesy: Organiser