Shortly after his meet with the families of Sonbhadra clash victims, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday announced an enhanced compensation of Rs 18.5 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 2.5 lakh for those injured in the incident. The state had previously ordered sums of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50,000 respectively.
Taking cognisance of the incident, the chief minister has also ordered suspension of the resposnible police personnel, in particular, Yagya Dutt, who is said to be an active member of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the main accused in the July 17 clash.
UP CM on Sonbhadra firing case: Govt has ordered to suspend police personnel responsible. Today I have ordered to provide compensation of Rs. 18.5 lakh to the bereaved families of the deceased&Rs. 2.5 lakh to the injured, from CM Relief Fund under SC/ST provisions. pic.twitter.com/wn1lIUFO7z— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 21, 2019
As many as ten people were gunned down and 28 others injured in a clash between Gond tribals and village head Yagya Dutt's supporters over a piece of land on Wednesday. Adityanath, accompanied with Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh, met families of all those victims and assured all kind of support from the state government.
Giving another boost to the raging political controversy over the Sonbhadra massacre, Adityanath accused the Congress of the July 17 shootout, saying the deaths were the result of a "very big political conspiracy" that had exposed the opposition's "anti-Dalit, anti-tribal face".
The BJP leader also blamed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for shedding "crocodile tears" over the deaths, adding that it is the sin of a previous Congress government in Uttar Pradesh that led to these villagers suffering.
"The foundations were laid in 1955 when this land was transferred to a trust. In 1989 a Congress government in UP transferred the land (back) to individual members, that exposed the party's "anti-Dalit, anti-forest dwellers, anti-tribal face," Adityanath was quoted as saying.
Yogi's visit to Sonbhadra comes just two days after Priyanka Gandhi was on Friday detained and stopped from meeting the families of those killed in Ubbah village. Gandhi was taken to a guesthouse in Chunar in Mirzapur district after she squatted on the road with her supporters at Narainpur, insisting that she be allowed to proceed.
However, the younger Gandhi on Saturday morning ended her dharna after meeting the families of Sonbhadra victims at Chunar fort in Mirzapur. She also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the deceased from the Indian National Congress.
In the wake of the clash, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has been receiving widespread criticism from across the state with the opposition parties, including Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Left and the Trinamool Congress accusing it of trying to protect the accused.