BSP, Congress Raise Pitch for Action Against Cops Who 'Ransacked' Dalit Houses in UP Village

Villagers who had allegedly fled the area were only able to return after opposition parties began protesting against the reported police atrocities.

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have sought action against policemen who reportedly committed atrocities on Dalit families in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh.

Houses owned by a Dalit head of an Uttar Pradesh village were reportedly ransacked by police personnel, who villagers allege also misbehaved with the village head, in the aftermath of a fight among villagers.

“It is shameful that Azamgarh Police instead of giving justice to the victimised Dalits of Palia village are committing atrocities on them and causing financial losses. The government should take immediate cognisance of this incident and take strict action against the culprits and compensate the victims financially,” Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Taking note of the seriousness of this latest incident of victimisation of of Dalits by the oppressors and the police, a delegation of BSP under the leadership of former MLA Gaya Charan Dinkar will visit the village soon to meet the victims,” she said in another tweet.

“News about attack on Dalit families in Palia village in Azamgarh. Houses were damaged, and cases were registered. This indicates the anti-Dalit mindset of the government. Immediate action should be taken against the accused, and compensation should be given to the victims,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also said in a tweet in Hindi.

According to police, there was a dispute between a doctor and some people in Palia village under Raunapar Police Station area on June 29 following which two policemen intervened in the matter and they were allegedly attacked by the village pradhan and his aides.

On the same night, police surrounded the Dalit hamlet and damaged the houses and looted them following which, the villagers fled, claimed locals.

Indian Express has reported that three of the houses owned by the family of the Dalit Palia village head, along with a storage unit, household items, food grains and a tractor, were destroyed, allegedly by police.

The village head, Munna Paswan, told the newspaper that on June 29, a row had taken place in the village after a Dalit women went to meet a person outside of her community and Paswan was forced to intervene.

Constables at the scene allegedly hit Paswan and injured him, upon which villagers thrashed the constable, Paswan’s family claimed. However, the family has alleged that while they were not the ones who thrashed policemen, police disconnected power supply to their village and “hundreds of them” arrived, beat up “whomever they saw,” used casteist slurs and ransacked the family’s houses that evening.

Several people who had fled reportedly returned only when opposition leaders raised the pitch on the issue.

The district administration has ordered a magisterial inquiry by the SDM (Lalganj) and the local inspector has been removed, Indian Express has additionally reported.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police, Azamgarh, Sudhir Kumar Singh said a case has been registered against 11 named people and 135 unidentified people.

(With PTI inputs)