VHP leaders arrested after attack on Faizabad shanty dwellers

August 3rd, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Lucknow, Aug 3 (IANS) Two Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders were arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad town after its activists ransacked shanties alleging their residents were illegal Bangladeshi migrants indulging in anti-national activities. Activists of the VHP ransacked the shanties in the Assam Colony,on the outskirts of Faizabad, alleging the inhabitants were Bangladeshi nationals.

However, the police claimed they had verified the antecedents of most of the residents living in the shanties.

“The shanties came up a few months ago and the residents belong to Assam’s Barpeta district. We have also received over 100 verification reports from the Barpeta police,” R.K.S. Rathore, senior superintendent of police Faizabad, told IANS.

Those living here are mostly ragpickers, scrap-dealers and some of them are rickshaw pullers, he added.

“We have arrested about 10 miscreants and are looking for others,” Rathore said.

Those arrested include district head of the VHP and the district unit vice-president, he added.

Meanwhile, in another incident in Bahraich district, about 200 km from here, a mob led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Sureshwar Singh set on fire nearly two dozen houses after rumours spread that a cow was slaughtered in the area.

“Two gunny bags containing animal flesh were found in the Matera Kalan village earlier Thursday. However, doctors confirmed that the flesh was not of a cow,” G.P. Sharma, inspector general of police of Gorakhpur range, told IANS on phone.

The police arrested the legislator along with 19 others shortly after the incident, he added.

A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the legislator, accusing him of holding a public meeting and delivering a provocative speech that led to the assault.

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