Ten villagers were killed and at least 19 were injured when a village head and his supporters fired at them over a land dispute in Ubha village in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. The attack on the villagers from the Gond community was carried out by people belonging to the Gujjar community, according to The Indian Express.
At least 26 people, including village head Yaghya Dutt Bhuriya, had been arrested till July 19. Those arrested include Yaghya Dutt’s elder brothers Dev Dutt and Nidhi Dutt, and nephews Ganesh and Vimlesh.
After the attack, the injured were taken to hospital. “The sub-divisional magistrate and the superintendent of police are on the spot,” District Magistrate Ankit Kumar Agarwal told News18.
The police said the incident took place when Dutt had gone to take possession of 90 bighas of land that he had purchased from an IAS officer two years ago. The Gond villagers who farmed the land gathered at the spot and started to protest. Dutt and his supporters allegedly opened fire on the victims.
“When the village head started work on the land he had bought, he was confronted by some villagers, which led to a tiff between the two sides,” Director General of Police Singh told News18. “A clash then took place and several people were killed.”
Chief Minister Adityanath offered his condolences to the families of the deceased. The CM’s Office said Adityanath has directed the police chief to personally monitor the case.
Corrections and clarifications: This story was updated on July 19 after new details of the incident became available.