LUCKNOW: Curfew was imposed in four police station areas of Gorakhpur after a fresh round of communal violence broke out on Monday. Several shops and some bogies of a passenger train were set on fire by a mob, which also ransacked the office of the District Magistrate (DM), protesting against the arrest of BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, mahant of the renowned Gorakh Dham temple, on Sunday.
A state home department spokesperson said that the situation is “tense but under control”. He said that several companies of the Rapid Action Force, PAC and state riot police had been deployed, and additional forces from neighbouring districts were being rushed into Gorakhpur. The state has shunted out Gorakhpur DM Dr Hari Om on Monday while the SSP Raja Srivastava has also been removed.
The trouble had started over the death of a young boy, who was beaten to death by enraged members of another community, for allegedly opening fire on a religious procession. The situation worsened after the police tried to disperse a group of BJP leaders, including Yogi Adityanath, who had gathered to mourn the youth’s death the next day. Yogi Adityanath’s arrest proved to be the trigger in the communally-charged atmosphere.
In Lucknow, angry BJP protestors burnt effigies of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. Senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon told reporters that Gorakhpur violence had been “engineered by the ruling Samajwadi Party for electoral benefit”. State BJP chief Kesrinath Tripathi and Tandon would be going to Gorakhpur on Tuesday.