Som's supporters clash with police; 1 injured

Som's supporters clash with police; 1 injured

Villagers clashed with police today in Khera village here after defying prohibitory orders to hold a Mahapanchayat against slapping of NSA on BJP MLA Sangeet Som in connection with the Muzaffarnagar violence.

One person was injured in the clashes and nearly 60 persons have been arrested, police said.

The Mahapanchayt was convened to protest the slapping of National Security Act (NSA) against BJP MLA Sangeet Som, they said.

"One person was injured and 50-60 people have been arrested," Meerut Divisional Commissioner Manjit Singh said.

The clashes broke out when rumours spread that some women were injured in caning by police at the venue, the village head said. Irate villagers started pelting stones on the police personnel deployed there, he said.

Police fired warning shots in the air and used tear gas to bring the situation under control. Some official vehicles were also damaged and set on fire by irate villagers, he said.

The local administration had refused permission for the Mahapanchayat, organised by Som's supported at Janata Inter College, and imposed prohibitory orders in the village.

The district administration had yesterday claimed after talks with leaders of the Mahapanchayat that they had agreed to postpone it.

Meanwhile, the Meerut district administration has rejected reports of death of a villager in police action, saying it is "just a rumour" and appealed to the people not to pay heed to such unsubstantiated reports.

District Magistrate Navdeep Rinwa, in a release issued by the Information Department in Lucknow, denied reports in a section of the media that army had been deployed at Khera village.

"The reports regarding death in police action at the prohibited mahapanchayat at Khera village are not true. This is just a rumour. Also, reports being shown in some news channels that army has been called in are also not true. Army has been alerted only," Rinwa, who is camping in the area, said.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police Devraj Nagar held a meeting with senior police officers, including ADG (Law and Order) Mukul Goel and took stock of the situation.

Goel said the injured had been identified as Mukul (24). He sustained injury in his jaw and is out of danger.

Inspector General of Police (Meerut Zone) Brijbhushan said the situation had been brought under control and police patrolling had been beefed up.

"Over 4,000 people, including 1,000 women, reached the venue to attend the Mahapanchayat. Violence broke out, in which some police vehicles were damaged and a motorcycle and two police vehicles were set afire," Brijbhushan said.

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