Sardhana town in Meerut was in the grip of tension Thursday after members of the Balmiki Samaj and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) took out a rally on Wednesday under the banner of “Aarakshan Bachao Sangarsh Samiti” in which they allegedly raised slogans against Hinduism and in favour of Islam.
The sloganeering reportedly took place after a condolence meet for a Dalit youth Kuldip, who was killed in Sonepat on February 21 during the Jats’ protests in demand of caste-based reservation. The condolence meet was being held at a dharamshala near Bhatwada.
An FIR in this connection was registered late on Wednesday night, but no arrests have been made so far.
In response to the rally, VHP activists staged a demonstration in the same area on Thursday and demanded that a case of sedition be registered against three persons named in the FIR. BJP MLA from Sardhana, Sangeet Som, told The Indian Express, “The Akhilesh Yadav government should take immediate action. We will launch a sustained stir if action is not taken.”
SP (rural) Praveen Ranjan said adequate force has been deployed in the area. “A case for invoking communal sentiments, false propaganda against religion and an attempt to block the road has been registered under various sections of the IPC. Raids are being conducted to arrest Amit Chaudhary, Gaurav Parcha and Walli-ur-Rehaman and six other unidentified persons,” he said.
Walli-ur-Reheman, chief of the AIMIM’s city unit, admitted that he took part in the procession but said no slogans were raised during the rally.