Several people sustained injuries on Tuesday while returning from a BSP rally addressed by party chief Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district. According to reports, people, mainly Dalits, were attacked in Chandrapur and Shabbirpur area.
The clash erupted right after the rally when a group of men belonging to upper caste started assaulting people with sharp-edged weapons and guns.
Following the incident, the government swung into action and senior police officials were rushed to the spot to assess the situation. DGP (Headquarters) has also sought a report from the Saharanpur Police in this regard.
Cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh termed the incident as unfortunate adding that the government will take up a transparent approach to look into the matter.
He also alleged that the opposition is trying to give the incident a political colour.
Earlier, BSP chief Mayawati held the BJP-led UP government responsible for the violence in Saharanpur and alleged that the ruling party had failed to stop its own brigade from attacking weaker sections.
Thakurs in Shabbirpur village had prevented Dalit residents from installing a BR Ambedkar statue on the premises of a temple. Later, on May 5, a Dalit group had objected to a procession of Thakurs to mark the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap, triggering violence, in which one person was killed and over 15 were injured.
"The district administration of Saharanpur did not allow Dalits to install a bust of Ambedkar, while the procession to mark the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap was taken out without any permission," Mayawati said during an interaction with media.
"The Dalits just reacted to this discrimination," she said.
The former chief minister also suggested that Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was seen as a frontrunner for the post of chief minister during the UP elections, was later overlooked because of his caste credentials.
Maywati said the BJP frequently referred to BR Ambedkar merely for votes and had no genuine concern for either the Dalit icon or his followers.
"BJP leaders frequently refer to BR Ambedkar but the followers of Ambedkar are facing injustice. They refer to Ambedkar merely for votes. People will not accept such anti-Dalit party," she said.
The BSP chief pilloried the state government over the "deteriorating" law-and-order situation in the state, saying "the state government has failed?to fulfil its constitutional duty of providing peace and security to the people of the state".
(With inputs from PTI)