Sonbhadra firing: DM, SP removed as UP CM cracks down on errant officials
Lucknow, Aug 04: The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday shunted out the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Sonbhadra, besides ordering action against 13 other officials after they were indicted in an inquiry into the killing of 10 Gond tribals last month over a land dispute.
Addressing a press conference at his residence, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said FIRs will be registered against several police and administration officials for alleged irregularities and members of Adarsh Krishi Sahkari Samiti, Umbha on charges of land grabbing. The disputed land in Umbha and Saphi villages also be transferred back and registered in the name of gram sabha, he said, while announcing that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will look into the matter.
Adityanath said departmental proceedings have been initiated against Sonbhadra District Magistrate Ankit Kumar Agrawal and Superintendent of Police Salman Taj Patil for taking "one-sided decision" against the villagers.
Directives have been issued to attach Agrawal and Patil to the Personnel Department and the DGP Headquarters, respectively, he said. S Ramalingam has been made the new district magistrate of Sonbhadra, while Prabhakar Chaudhary is the new superintendent of police, officials said.
"The entire matter will be probed by an SIT. The SIT will be headed by DIG SIT J Ravindra Gaud, and will have Additional SP Amrita Mishra along with three inspectors. DG SIT R P Singh will be monitoring the work of the SIT," the chief minister said. He said another team will be set up under Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Renuka Kumar to look into the issue of land grabbing by "fake" societies in the last 60-70 years in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra. "Fake societies in Sonbhadra and Mirzapur have grabbed more than one lakh acre of land. In 1972, then chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna had constituted a probe committee under Mangaldev Visharad. However, no action was taken as a number of Congress leaders were involved," Adityanath said.
"The government has formed a six-member team which will probe into the land grabbed by fake societies in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra and then using it for their personal use. The probe report will be submitted in three months' time," he added.
In July, 10 people were killed and 28 injured in the clash after a village headman and his supporters opened fire on a group of tribals over a land dispute. The Personnel Department has initiated action against Ghorawal SDM Vijay Prakash Tiwari, and an FIR will be registered against him, according to an official statement. Disciplinary action has also been initiated against Ghorawal Circle Officer Abhishek Singh, Sub-Inspector Lallan Prasad Yadav, Inspector Arvind Kumar Mishra and Constable Satyajit Yadav, it said.
The Goonda Act has been slapped against the circle officer for allegedly exerting pressure on the affected families and an FIR has been registered against him, it added.
A case has been registered against the sub-inspector, inspector and the constable for allegedly not reaching the incident spot in time. According to the statement, an FIR has also been filed against Additional Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Dikshit for allegedly taking Rs 1.42 lakh from the village pradhan to free the disputed land without proper orders of the court. In 1955, the tehsildar of Robertsganj had passed an order for registering 1305 bighas of land in the name of Adarsh Krishi Sahkari Samiti, according to the statement.
"The possibility of the then tehsildar of Robertsganj Krishna Malviya being alive is very slim. Even if he is alive, he will not be in a position to be charged in a case. Hence, the committee did not recommend any action against him," Adityanath said.
He said an FIR will be filed against the pargana adhikari of Robertsganj in 1989 Ashok Kumar Srivastava and tehsildar Jai Chandra Singh. Cases will be registered against Asha Mishra, the wife of IAS officer Prabhat Kumar Mishra and Kiran Kumari, the wife of IAS officer Bhanu Pratap Sharma, for allegedly getting the land registered in their names in 1989.