HT Correspondent, Gorakhpur, February 13
LAND MAFIA’S HENCHMEN set ablaze four dozen huts of Dalits in Chakra Awwal, near Transport Nagar, under Rajghat police station, on Monday.
Ironically, the incident took place on a day when the nation was celebrating the birth anniversary of Dalit icon Sant Ravidas.
Four dozen armed men stormed the Dalit slum, set ablaze their huts, demolished small houses and looted property. Police personnel reached the spot after half-an-hour and faced stiff resistance from the armed men, who pelted the men in khaki with stones.
Half-a-dozen residents, mostly women, sustained injuries when they opposed the henchmen. Bhanmati, Mira Devi, Sunita, Mamta, Kalawadi and Prem were admitted to the district hospital.
The Gorakhpur Development Authority had acquired the land to develop Transport Nagar, but failed to fulfil its promise to compensate the residents.
Later, displaced Dalit families constructed huts around a pond two decades ago.
Residents complained that a district collectorate employee Sugriv Nishad, resident of Belwar village under Jhangha police station, fraudulently got the land registered in his name.
His henchmen raided the Dalit slum and tried to evict the residents on Monday. Shyam Sunder, Ganga Prasad, Brahmanand and others said women offered resistance to these men who even opened fire to scare away the slum-dwellers.
Police officials rushed to the spot in a bid to bring the situation under control. Policemen were deployed in the area to monitor the situation.
Angy Dalit families demanded compensation from the State Government, following the incident.