Lucknow: Heavy police force was deployed to control the violence that erupted in Dalit-dominated Antgadhi Saura village of Maal, on Wednesday. The mob caused a ruckus over the removal of Lord Hanuman and BR Ambedkar statues which were illegally installed on gram sabha land. The group of people attacked the team led by SDM (Malihabad) and the tehsildar for removing the statues with the help of police personnel. Also Read - BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja Calls Lord Hanuman World's First Tribal Leader
The crowd blocked the Hardoi Road for several hours. When the situation slipped out of hands, police used force to disperse the mob. The blockade was successfully lifted with a warning of strict action against offenders. An FIR was filed against four identified persons and 50 unidentified people, said ASP (rural) Vikrant Vir. Also Read - Fatwa Issued Against Uttar Pradesh BJP MLC Minister Bukkal Nawab For Visiting Temple
At around 3.30PM, a villager had allegedly informed the police officials of the growing tension between two groups over a piece of gram sabha land, stated a Times of India report. While one group installed a statue of Ambedkar, the other installed a Hanuman statue to claim ownership of the land. However, both the groups had installed statues without getting due permission from the administration. Also Read - Listen to Hanuman Chalisa and Bajrang Baan with Lyrics on Hanuman Jayanti 2017 - Watch video
When the police team moved towards a statue, a crowd began pelting stones at them. When the police returned with more force, the crowd assembled again and threatened violence. Police had to cane-charge to disburse the mob. Station officer Maal Vinod Goswami reportedly said that the two statutes were removed thereafter and brought to the police station.
SDM (Malihabad) Jai Prakash was quoted by The Times of India as saying, “The issue began last week after a group started making preparations for installing a statue of Ambedkar. On hearing of it, the other group began construction of a temple opposite the spot.”
Police decided to remove both the statues as the land belonged to the government and construction or installation was prohibited there.