Lucknow: The situation in Kanth village in Moradabad district continued to be tense Saturday, following Friday’s clashes between BJP workers, villagers and police in which the district magistrate and some police officials were injured, the authorities said.
Moradabad Divisional Commissioner Shiv Shankar Singh said the situation was “tense but under control”.
Rail traffic, which was disrupted, was partially restored Saturday. A lone train engine, then a goods train and then a passenger train left amid tight security from the Kanth railway station, where villagers Friday fought with police and pelted stones.
Additional divisional railway manager Hitendra Malhotra said that for now, things were normal and police have assured that there was adequate patrolling on that rail route.
Police said extensive patrolling was on in the violence-hit areas and urged people to report any problems they face.
Meanwhile, the four Bharatiya Janata Party leaders – Amroha MP Kanwar Singh Tanwar, Rampur MP Nepal Singh and Sambhal MP Satyal Saini, along with Sardhana legislator Sangeet Som – who were detained Friday have been released.
BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpayi has constituted a five-member team to look into the Kanth incident.
BJP legislator Suresh Khanna will head the team and submit a report to the state unit.
There had been tension in Kanth for the past one week. The Tensions had escalated in Kanth after members of two communities June 27 clashed over installation of loudspeakers at a religious place. The loudspeakers were subsequently removed by the administration, acting on complaints by the other community.
Siding with the aggrieved community, the BJP had announced holding of the maha panchayat July 4, which led to the Akhilesh Yadav government deploying heavy police force in the region to prevent any trouble.
Assailing the move, BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpayi, who took over the protests a few days back, alleged that the state government and the district administration were out to appease a certain community.
As the two proposals submitted by the party had been denied, they were now headed for more intense protests, he added.
BJP state unit spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said: “This government cannot be allowed to go all out to appease one community and trample upon the feelings of others.”
He further alleged that yet again like in Muzaffarnagar, the state government had failed to sort out a minor issue and had allowed it to spin out of control, a result of which is the public anger in the region.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the state assembly Pradip Mathur, however, alleged that the BJP was trying to foment trouble in the state, with an eye to the 2017 state assembly elections.
“They have to be stopped at all cost, specially to protect the secular fabric of the state,” he added.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly Swami Prasad Maurya, however, alleged that there was a tacit understanding between BJP and the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP).
“This cat and mouse game has been going on for long and was at play during the Lok Sabha elections… if the state government was serious about secularism, they should act tough against the BJP and its leaders,” said the Bahujan Samaj Party leader.