Sonbhadra clash: Five officials suspended, 29 accused arrested, says UP CM

 Lucknow Jul 20:  Promising justice to those killed in the Sonbhadra clash, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth on Friday said the sub divisional magistrate and four policemen including circle officer were suspended and 29 people arrested.

A committee under the additional chief secretary (Revenue) has also been constituted and will give its report within 10 days, the chief minister said.

Ten people were killed and 28 injured on Wednesday when they resisted an attempt by the village headman and his supporters to take possession of 90 bighas of disputed land in Sonbhadra district’s Ghorawal area.

“Despite dispute between the two factions in the past and apprehensions of breach of peace adequate action was not taken by officers. SDM, Circle officer and Inspector–all posted in Ghorawal have been suspended on basis of the probe committee, constituted on July 17, report. Beat sub-inspector and constable have also been suspended,” the CM said while making a statement in the state assembly.

He said the action was taken on the report of the two-member committee of Divisional Commissioner, Vidhyachal division and Additional Director General (ADG), Varanasi zone.

Adityanth, citing the report said the land dispute, which led to the clash was old and was there since 1955 and there were a number of cases pending in revenue courts and criminal cases filed by both the factions.

The victims were farming the disputed land for a long time but their names were not registered in the revenue record and the accused persons reached the said land for its possession in tractors, leading to the clash, the CM said.

10 persons were killed and 28 injured including 21 from the victims and seven from the other (accused) side in the incident, he said.

The CM further said that 29 persons including main accused Yagya Dutt have been arrested and a single barrel gun, three double barrel guns, a rifle and six tractors have also been recovered so far.

“A three member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue), Principal Secretary Labour, Divisional commissioner, Vidhyachal has been constituted to give its report within 10 days on the land dispute. It will take note of the dispute and fix responsibilities by going through revenue records and give its recommendations,” the CM said.

ADG (Varanasi Zone) has also been asked to probe cases registered between the two sides in Sonbhadra before July 17, he said.

“Responsibility will be fixed and justice will be given to the victims. Those involved in the act will not be spared,” the chief minister said.

After his address in the House, which was disrupted by the slogan shouting Samajwadi Party (SP) members, Aditynath briefed the media outside.

Replying to a question on reports that SP leader Azam Khan has been declared as land mafia by Rampur administration, the CM said “There was ‘kabja’ (grabbing) culture in previous SP regime and Rampur is its example.”