Intense politicking has started over the brutal killing of a dalit student, Dileep Saroj, last week and has put the Yogi Adityanath government on the back foot over the incident.
Though the chief minister has announced compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the family of the victim, the opposition’s vitriolic attack over the incident has put the Adityanath government in a defensive mode. The opposition stepped up its attack on the government first because even after four days since the incident, the main accused in the case, Vijay Shankar Singh, is still elusive.
Second, when the matter started becoming an eyesore to the government, the police nabbed three accused, but did not invoke the SC/ST Act against them. The act was invoked later after much hue and cry.
This is being viewed as gross negligence on the part of the police aimed at diluting the case.
Saroj, a law student, died after an altercation in a Allahabad restaurant on the night of February 9. Saroj was brutally assaulted and died of his injuries on February 11.
Ever since the news of his death spread, Allahabad has been on the boil. Demanding the immediate arrests of the accused, angry students took to the streets and indulged in stone pelting and arson.
SP leader Ram Govind Chaudhary, who is also the leader of opposition in the state Assembly, assailing the government said, there has been jungle raj in the state and linked the killing of Saroj with the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Andhra Pradesh and caste clashes in Saharanpur, which took place between dalits and Thakurs.
Congress leader Ajay Kumar said the incident has caused a huge embarrassment not only to Uttar Pradesh but to the present government.
BSP leader Lalji Verma accused the Allahabad police of not handling the case properly. BSP chief Mayawati said this was not an isolated incident but such incidents have been occurring regularly, which the Adityanath government has failed to prevent.
SP national president Akhilesh Yadav said criminals have no fear of the government and they are killing people without caring about law and order.
In the face of these attacks, the Adityanath government seems to be in a defensive mode. BJP minister Suresh Khanna said the role of police will also be investigated in the entire incident and asked the opposition not to give the incident a caste colour.
Meanwhile, the police have launched a massive manhunt to nab the main accused in the case, Vijay Shankar Singh.
According to police sources, the last known location of Vijay was Faizabad and a team has been dispatched to nab him.
However they claimed the accused has switched off his mobile phone. It is believed that Vijay is close to a former MLA of Sultanpur, Sonu Singh, and his role is being probed in another murder case.
Meanwhile, Sonu has admitted to having a good rapport with Vijay.