Pushed to the back foot by humanitarian gesture of Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath went to Umbha village in Sonbhadra where he met family members of the deceased and blamed Congress, SP and BSP for the massacre in which 10 innocent lives were lost. He also announced imposition of NSA against land grabbers.
But, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh was silent on the role of District Magistrate (DM) Ankit Kumar Agarwal who allowed mutation of 148 bigha of land in favour of Gram Pradhan Yagya Dutt in February 2019. Armed with that mutation order when Pradhan went to take possession of land, villagers protested and that led to the violence in which 10 people were killed and 28 other were injured.
The sequence of events suggests serious involvement of present DM of Sonbhadra district in this case. On October, 2017 Yugya dutt purchased 148 bigha of land from Asha Mishra, who got the ownership rights through tehsildar’s order in 1989. The Pradhan wanted mutation of land done in his favour. As the villagers protested, the then District Magistrate Amit Kumar Singh refused mutation.
In February 2019 Singh was transferred and Ankit Kumar Agarwal was appointed as new DM. Sources in the government say that within a few weeks Agarwal signed on the mutation paper. “He should have applied his wisdom before signing papers as to why his predecessor had refused to sign on the dotted lines,” the source said.
This is a clear case of connivance of the district official but the chief minister took action against SDM, Circle Officer, Inspector, Sub-inspector and a beat constable and spared the DM who signed the mutation paper.
Chief Minister on his part accused the opposition parties for the massacre. In his address in Umbha village on Sunday, he said that the land belonging to tribals was transferred in 1955 to the trust of the then Congress MLC who later transferred the same to an individual, again a person close to the Congress in 1989.
The CM even did not spare SP and BSP and found their involvement in this case. “The main accused of this incident is a party worker of Samajwadi Party. He is quite active in Samajwadi Party. He has also tried to capture the land of the people belonging to the Gaud Scheduled Castes. Apart from this, his brother is a BSP leader. All of them have been misusing the power. Cases were filed against the poor by misusing power and actions were taken in favour of the then ruling party,” he said.
When CM was pouring his diatribe against the opposition leaders, the DM Ankit Kumar Agarwal was standing right there listening to Yogi’s speech like an obedient official.