Member of Dalit outfit shot dead; UP's Saharanpur tense

Member of Dalit outfit shot dead; UP's Saharanpur tense

Women during a protest in UP's Saharanpur. PTI/ File photo

Tension gripped Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district again exactly a year after two persons were killed in clashes between members of Dalit and Thakur communities.

On Wednesday, a Dalit leader was shot dead in the same locality triggering tension. According to police sources, Sachin Walia, the brother of Kamal Walia, the district president of Bheem Army, a Dalit outfit, was shot dead at Ramnagar village by unidentified assailants.

It was charged that a youth from Thakur community, who was among those celebrating the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap, opened fire at Sachin while he was returning home.

Bheem Army had asked the Dalits not to celebrate Maharana Pratap's birth anniversary.

A large number of Dalits held a demonstration in the village to protest the killing and there was also a scuffle with the cops when they tried to take the body to the mortuary, sources said.

The situation became critical after members of the Dalit community raised slogans against the Thakur community and demanded arrest of the culprit.

Internet services in the district have been suspended indefinitely as a precautionary measure, sources said. Security personnel have been deployed in the village to maintain order.

On this day last year, clashes had broken out between Dalits and Thakurs in the same village during Maharana Pratap anniversary celebrations in which two persons were killed.

Bheem Army founder Chandrashekhar was later arrested and was booked under the National Security Act. He continues to be in jail.