In a shocking revelation it has emerged that not only did the BJP MP, Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma, not have any permission to hold procession through the Muslim neighbourhood in Saharanpur, he was not even invited by the local Dalit community.
As reported by NDTV, the local Dalits did not even want to organise the procession march through the Muslim neighbourhood.
Members of the Dalit community of the village told the channel that no invitation was sent from them to the BJP MP. According to them, they were approached by a representative of the MP to hold the ‘Shobha Yatra’. They agreed, on a condition that the BJP will secure the necessary permissions.
Naresh Gautam from Sadak Dudhli village said, “One person (from the BJP) came and spoke to us. We told him that we will do Shobha Yatra only if they have permission. They kept saying that they will get the yatra done; their government is at the centre and in the state.”
After the BJP failed to obtain the required permission, the Dalits in the village even wrote to the district administration informing them that they had already conducted a meeting in the village on 14 April commemorating Dr Ambedkar and did not need another yatra.
“We had to clear our point. Had we not done it, the problem would have come on our heads,” said Gautam.
Police records show that permission for the yatra was sought by a person named Devender Agarwal who belongs to the right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on the 12th of April.
In light of new facts, it is clear that there was a dangerous plan to cause a law and order situation by forcibly taking the procession through the Muslim neighbourhood.
Sharma, who’s a fluent English speaker, was accused by the local Senior Superintendent of Police, Luv Kumar of intimidating his family and children and leading a mob to cause violence at his official residence.
Sharma had led a mob to the SSP’s residence and incited them to vandalise the place, scaring the police officer’s children and relatives who were inside the house at the time.
The SSP said when 400-odd rioters entered his residence, his family and relatives were in a state of panic despite the presence of security personnel at his house.
“My family had never witnessed such an incident when their residence was attacked. My kids were so scared,” Kumar said.
According to eyewitnesses, the rioters broke CCTV cameras, some chairs and Kumar’s official nameplate at his residence.
The IPS Association said that the targetting SSP was an unfortunate development and it will demoralise the officer and traumatise his family.
It had tweeted, “Targeting SSP house unfortunate. It demoralises officer, traumatises family. Hope government upholds morale of police.”
Sharma had allegedly threatened to get him transferred out of Saharanpur. The SSP was indeed transferred only days after being at the receiving end of the BJP MP’s violence.
In his brief address to his supporters at the SSP’s residence, the BJP MP reportedly said the “worthless” (nalayak) official will be sacked soon.
Sharma, when asked later, had refused to apologise for his act, unbecoming of an MP.
He had told NDTV, “Apologise for what? For standing with people when they were attacked? For questioning the administration when they were not performing? The administration should apologise.”
It appears that the BJP, in collusion with the VHP, had planned to cause a riot in the area but make it look like a violence between Muslims and Dalits.