One killed as Bharat Bandh turns violent in UP

Lucknow, DHNS: One person was killed and scores of others, including cops, were injured as the 'Bharat Bandh' called by Dalit organisations on Monday to protest against the Supreme Court's SC/ST ruling turned violent in Uttar Pradesh.

The supporters of the bandh, who included BSP workers also, indulged in large-scale violence in several cities and torched buses, shops and business establishment, besides indulging in heavy stone-pelting, police sources here said.

Sources said that one person was killed in Muzaffarnagar town, when pro-bandh supporters opened fire while enforcing the closure of shops. Another person received bullet injuries and was admitted to hospital, where his condition was stated to be critical.

Bandh supporters also clashed with the police, squatted on railway tracks and pelted stones at vehicles in Agra, Ferozabad, Meerut, Aligarh, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Hapur, Azamgarh and some other places.

Over a dozen vehicles were torched in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and some other places by bandh supporters. They also attacked scribes and molested women, sources said.

Movement of trains on Agra-Jaipur and Jhansi-Delhi sections were affected after the protesters squatted on railway tracks, sources said.

The state government has deployed PAC and RAF in the affected areas to maintain law and order. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has appealed to the people not to take law into their hands.

BSP supremo Mayawati, whose party workers participated in the bandh, attributed the violence to "outside criminal elements" and asked the government to identify such people and punish them.

She, however, accused the BJP of conspiring to do away with the rights of the Dalits and reservation.

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