UP Legislative Council witnesses uproar over deaths of 10 tribals in Sonbhadra; Opposition demands CBI probe into killings

  • The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council on Monday witnessed an uproar over the massacre of 10 Gond tribals in a Sonbhadra village last week

  • SP, BSP and Congress members raised the alleged worsening of law and order in the state through adjournment motions during the Zero Hour

  • While the SP and Congress eventually staged a walkout after raising the matter, the BSP demanded a CBI probe into the killings

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council on Monday witnessed an uproar over the massacre of 10 Gond tribals in a Sonbhadra village last week with the Opposition raising the issue and demanding a CBI probe into the killings.

 UP Legislative Council witnesses uproar over deaths of 10 tribals in Sonbhadra; Opposition demands CBI probe into killings

File photo of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. News18

The SP, BSP and Congress members raised the alleged worsening of law and order in the state in the wake of the Sonbhadra massacre through adjournment motions during the Zero Hour.

While the SP and Congress eventually staged a walkout after raising the matter, the BSP demanded a CBI probe into the killings.

Terming the killings as "sad", Leader of Opposition Ahmad Hasan sought to put the blame on the ruling BJP for the festering land dispute which led to the massacre.

"The Sonbhadra massacre is unfortunate and sad. But, the land which led to the dispute was sold in 2017 after the BJP came to power in the state," said Leader of Opposition Ahmad Hasan.

"Now, in their reign, 300 people armed with guns arrive at the disputed land in 32 tractors and kill 10 people. The government is linking this dispute to 1955, but such an incident never took place before July 17, 2019," asserted Hasan.

"The villagers took their land dispute to the police and local administration, but no action took place. The chief minister is saying the main accused of this incident, village pradhan Yagyadutt Bhotiya is a member of the Samajwadi Party. This is absolutely incorrect, as he had never been an SP leader," he claimed.

Giving an account of various crimes in the state during the BJP regime, Hasan said there have been 236 criminal incidents in the state capital alone but the government is not bothered.
"In the state, there is no rule of law, there is a rule by outlaws," he asserted.

SP member Shatrudra Prakash sought to attribute the Sonbhadra massacre to the government's failure to follow an Allahabad High Court's order on the issue. "Had the government adhered to the high court's order of listening to the claims of the tribals on the land, the Sonbhadra massacre would not have taken place," he said.

BSP member Dinesh Chandra sought a CBI probe into the killings. "Incidents like the one in Sonbhadra do not happen in a day. Full preparations were made for this. This massacre should be probed by the CBI," he said.

Congress leader Deepak Singh accused the local administration of ignoring 12 complaints of Umbha village tribals on the land dispute. He also alleged that the administration prevented the massacre victims of the Umbha village in Sonbhadra from meeting Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

"Priyanka Gandhi, who wanted to meet the affected families was taken into custody on the pretext of the imposition of section 144 of the CrPC. The affected persons were stopped from meeting her," he said.

"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and UP BJP chief Swatantradev Singh along with other leaders were allowed to go there yesterday. Are there separate sets of laws for the ruling party and the opposition?" he asked.

Leader of the house Dinesh Sharma, however, asserted that it was the state government which facilitated Priyanka Gandhi to meet the victims. "After the incident took place in Sonbhadra, there was tension and section 144 was imposed. As far as Priyanka Gandhi is concerned, it was the government which facilitated her meeting with the members of the affected families," he said.

He also asserted that there is a close link between main accused of the clash, Yagyadutt Bhotiya, the village pradhan and the Samajwadi Party. SP members promptly objected to Sharma's allegation, saying the government cannot escape from its responsibility.

The SP members also began raising slogans against the government and began proceeding to the Well of the house. They, however, went back to their seats on the request of presiding officer Devendra Pratap Singh, but their arguments with the ruling party continued.

The SP members eventually walked out of the house. Not satisfied with the government's reply, Congress MLC Deepak Singh too staged a walkout.

Updated Date: Jul 22, 2019 21:06:24 IST