‘A Wednesday’ when law & order seemed nonexistent in Yogi’s UP

Nine villagers shot dead over a land dispute, two policemen gunned down by prisoners, a pvt hospital manager knifed to death and a 10-year-old boy kidnapped for ransom – all in a day in Uttar Pradesh

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Biswajeet Banerjee

It was Bloody Wednesday for Uttar Pradesh (UP) when incidents of crime rocked across state driving a big hole to the claims to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about improvement in law and order. Ironically, the incidents happened on the day when the state’s Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh sang paeans of his men’s efforts to control the crime.

Nine innocent villagers were shot dead by village head in Sonbhadra in eastern UP while in Sambhal, in west UP, prisoners opened fire on policemen killing two of them. In central UP, a manager in a private hospital was knifed to death in Lucknow while in neighbouring Barabanki a 10 year old boy was kidnapped and ransom of Rs 20 lakh was demanded from the parents.

The most shocking incident was reported from Sonbhadra where nine persons were killed when a village head opened fire at villagers over land dispute. “Nine persons including three women were killed when two groups clashed over a land dispute. One group led by the village head opened fire at the villagers who were opposing village head’s attempt to take passion of the land,” senior police official Brij Bhushan said.

The incident in which four people were injured occurred in a village called Murthiya in Sonebhadra, 300 km south-east of Lucknow, the state capital of Uttar Pradesh.

Bhushan said that two persons have been arrested so far and search is on to arrest others.

He said that the village head of the said village had purchased 90 bigha (36 acre) of land in the village around two years back. The villagers were opposing the sale saying the land belonged to them and they have been farming there for years.

On Wednesday when the village head went to take possession of land with his henchmen, a group of villagers opposed them.

“The village head and his cohorts opened fire at the villagers in which nine people, including three women were killed,” he said.

Another senior police officer PV Rama Shastri said that police knew about the dispute and had many times tried to solve it through dialogue. The police had also given an application in the court to attach that disputed land, he said.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has ordered a probe into the incident and has asked senior officials to submit report within 24 hours.

In Sambhal, prisoners attacked the police when they were being taken to prison from court. There were 24 prisoners in the van. The prisoners snatched guns from them opened fire in which two policemen were killed.

Three of the prisoners have escaped.

In Barabanki a 10 year old boy was kidnapped and parents have been asked for a ransom of ₹20 lakh. Similarly in Lucknow, a manager of a private hospital was stabbed to death on Wednesday morning.

“What has happened in UP speaks volumes about poor law and order situation in UP and how people are living in fear,” national president of Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav said.

As the monsoon session of the state assembly begins tomorrow, the law and order issue is set to rock the State legislature. “Government will be grilled. Chief Minister will face the heat in Vidhan sabha,” LoP in Vidhan Sabha, Ram Govind Chaudhary said.

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Published: 17 Jul 2019, 7:16 PM