UP, India: Two Dead, 19 injured in violent clashes in Saharanpur – Several vehicles and properties set on fire
Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh: Two people have died and 19 others have been injured in violent clashes between Sikh and Muslim groups in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh today. The clashes broke out allegedly over construction on a disputed property.
The land dispute over a Gurudwara land in Saharanpur near railway station sparked off the violence. The Gurudwara is adjacent to a huge piece of land which the Sikh community has been taking care of for past so many years. The land has been under dispute has been in controversy for some time already. The land was to witness the ‘lintel’ being dropped today in order to pursue some construction work. The Muslim community alleged that the land belongs to them and there cannot be any construction. The Sikhs defended that the land is adjacent to their Gurudwara and is rightfully theirs since many years.
The talks between the two sides failed to reach any conclusion and violence broke out. Sikhs alleged that the violence seemed pre-planned as Muslims from Moradabad and Muzzaparpur were also called in numbers. Gun shots were fired on the Sikhs and people with swords ran after the Sikh community in the region. Shops belonging to Sikh community in Nehru Market were set on fire by the angry Muslim mob.
A witness in Saharanpur said that angry Muslim mob targetted shops owned by Sikh community. Traffic on the national highway connecting Ambala was thrown out of gear as protestors went on the rampage. District officials said curfew has been clamped in Saharanpur city. Over two dozen shops and vehicles were gutted. A dozen people have been arrested for inciting violence over the land dispute.
There’s massive security deployment in the area now. Personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have reportedly also been called in.