Lucknow: In a twist in the Ghazipur stone-pelting case where a constable lost his life, a Nishad Party leader, also an accused, has pinned the blame on the ruling BJP. Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Arjun Kashyap said, “The BJP is in power. They’ve done it. Their people are the main accused. Our people also might have done it later, but stones were not pelted on policemen. If as per law, I’m the main accused, then I’ll surrender.”

Lamenting how his community has been ignored by the government, Kashyap said, “Even Yogi ji promised to fulfil the demands of Nishad community, but nothing has been done. There’s no one in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha to raise our demands. We’ll keep protesting till we get reservation for our people. If we don’t get our right, we’ll form our own government.”

On December 29, a police constable was killed in stone pelting by protesters while returning from the venue of a public meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Nineteen people were arrested. Superintendent of Police (Ghazipur) Yashveer Singh had said the protesters were workers from the Rashtriya Nishad Party who were prevented by the administration and the police from going to the rally venue.

Constable Suresh Vats was hit on the head by a stone when he went to end a traffic jam caused by the protests.

Vats’ son asked, “Police is not being able to protect their own. What can we expect from them? What will we do with compensation now? Earlier, similar incidents took place in Bulandshahr and Pratapgarh,” he said.

Meanwhile, the incident gave enough ammunition to the Opposition. Slamming the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government over the incident, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “The incident has happened because of what the Chief Minister keeps on saying — ‘thok do’ (shoot them)… The truth is that whichever officer finds out he is going to be transferred, he carries out an encounter and ensures a continuation of postings.”