The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday removed the district magistrate, superintendent of police of Sonbhadra in connection with a shooting incident that killed 10 Adivasi farmers on July 19 over a land dispute. Action has been initiated against 13 other officials.
Chief Minister Adityanath, in a press conference, said action has been taken against District Magistrate Ankit Kumar Agarwal and Superintendent of Police Salmantaj Patil for taking “one-sided decision” against the villagers. The additional chief secretary of the revenue department had submitted a report to the state government on Saturday, following which the action was taken, PTI reported.
Agrawal and Patil have been sent to the Personnel Department and headquarters of the director-general of police. S Ramalingam will replace Agarwal while Prabhakar Chaudhary is the new superintendent of police.
Adityanath said first information reports will be registered against several police and administration officials for alleged irregularities while members of Adarsh Krishi Sahkari Samiti will be booked on charges of land grabbing.
During investigations, officials had reported that the 1955 revenue records of the disputed land were missing. Additional District Magistrate Yogendra Bahadur Singh had said that certain records were destroyed after a specific period of time, which could be the reason they were missing.
Apart from the 10 villagers killed, nearly 28 people were injured in the shooting. At least 26 people, including village head Yaghya Dutt Bhuriya, have been arrested.
The incident had triggered a political controversy with the Congress and Samajwadi Party criticising the Adityanath-led administration over the incident. Adityanath, on the other hand, accused the Congress and the Samajwadi Party for the incident.