Sonbhadra: The government of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, August 3, removed Sonbhadra’s administrative and police chief in the backdrop of the carnage that happened in Umbha village on July 17.
The declaration by none other than Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came after the government received a report on the issue submitted by the panel which was formed to probe into the matter where 10 Gond tribals were gunned down by an upper caste, Gurjar pradhan who went to take possession of the 130 bigha of land in Umbha village on more than 32 tractors with about 300 associates.
Besides the removal of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, the chief minister ordered strict actions against 13 other officials for their alleged involvement in the land scam as indicted by the special investigation team.
The 1000 pages long report submitted to the chief minister also mentions the ‘Hand in Glove’ kind of situation between the accused village headman and the local police station. The report of the government clearly mentions that despite having information about the incident from tribals of Umbha village, the local police deliberately delayed in reaching the spot.
Also read: Sonbhadra Carnage: ADG Committee Submits Report, Villagers Allege Police Apathy
Earlier on July 20, three days after the incident, NewsClick had revealed that the intelligence had found that the local police had prior knowledge of what was going to happen in the village but they did not act accordingly.
Meanwhile, S Ramalingam has been made the new District Magistrate and Prabhakar Chaudhary the new Superintendent of Police of Sonbhadra.
The state government has also formed a six-member committee under Upper Chief Revenue Secretary Renuka Kumar to investigate the tragedy. The committee will file its report in three months.
The Uttar Pradesh CM also targeted the former government of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress in the state for the alleged corruption in the land ceiling matters. Now the investigation has also involved the farm house of senior Congress leader Lalitesh Pati Tripathi, who played a very key role in raising the issue of Sonbhadra carnage with Congress’ east UP in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Devraj Sonkar, a senior lawyer who looks after the tribal land related cases in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra believes that the government should also check the assets of all the lekhpals, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and other people on government positions.
“There is a big nexus which fraudulently transfers the land of gram sabha to land sharks and several tribals have been affected by this and are fighting their cases. Nothing can happen without the involvement of the local administration. Similarly in Umbha village the SDM, and the land and revenue department had knowledge about the land scam but they did nothing to stop and in the end ten people were killed,” he said.
Meanwhile in Umbha village, the tribal villagers are not happy with the compensation and efforts being made by the government to bring stability.
Also read: Landlord Savagery in Sonbhadra on Tribal Cultivators
Ramraj, a resident who is leading the tribals in court, said, “The school as ordered by the chief minister is being constructed in Bhurtiya village, from where the accused pradhan hails. But there has not been even a single work on other fronts like road and infrastructure.”