A group of students shouted slogans, pelted stones and torched a bus in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad city on Monday to protest against the death of a 26-year-old Dalit student. Police teams in riot gear were called in to control the students, all of whom were from Allahabad University, NDTV reported.
Dilip Saroj, a law student at the Allahabad Degree College, died on Sunday, a day after he was attacked by a group of men with hockey sticks, broken pipes and bricks near a restaurant in the city. On Sunday, the police arrested the waiter at the restaurant, Munna Chauhan, who allegedly hit Saroj on the head with an iron rod and then took him to the hospital.
They had also identified one of the attackers as Vijay Shankar Singh, a travelling ticket examiner with the Railways. Singh is reportedly still absconding.
The state police have also suspended two personnel for not responding to the incident even though they were only about 100 metres away. The restaurant manager had reportedly dialled the police helpline but did not get a response.
Saroj and his friends had gone out for dinner at the restaurant, the police said. They reportedly got into an argument with the attackers, which soon turned violent. “After dinner, we were sitting on the stairs that lead to the restaurant. Three people came, pushed us, abused and went to the restaurant on the first floor,” Saroj’s friend Prakash Singh said. “We followed them to the restaurant to confront them which is when they started beating us. I was hit with chairs too, but I managed to escape.”
Mayawati blames casteist politics
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said on Monday that the student’s death was the result of narrow and casteist politics. “The barbaric murder of a Dalit student in Allahabad is not an isolated case as such incidents are occurring on a regular basis,” she was quoted as saying by PTI. “And no one else but the BJP’s narrow, casteist politics of hatred is responsible for it.”
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also asked the state government to ensure the culprits are arrested immediately.
State is in the grip of criminals, says Akhilesh Yadav
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav criticised the Adityanath government over its handling of the case. “No law and order is prevailing in the state,” Yadav said in Lucknow. “The murder of a Dalit student in Allahabad shows that the state is in the grip of criminal elements and the police is only killing innocents in encounters.”
Yadav demanded Rs 50 lakh in compensation for the victim’s family, PTI reported.