BARELY had the tremors of the Saharanpur clashes faded away that a new episode of communal conflict was reported in Meerut.
Members of two communities clashed in Meerut on Sunday over the burial of a body in a graveyard, located in the Bahadurpur area, reportedly in disuse. The piece of land reportedly served as a graveyard until three years ago, when its use for burial became a subject of dispute between two communities.
On Sunday, a few people had come there to bury someone when a large group of Bajrang Dal members, led by Chetna Sharma and Balraj Singh Dungar, arrived there and objected to the burial. This sparked a round of stone- pelting between the two groups.
The police reached the clash site within 20 minutes, but as they tried to intervene, one of the groups attacked them as well. The clash continued for about eight hours, before the members of the minority community withdrew. They then held a dharna at the gate of a railway crossing with the corpse. The group was subsequently allowed by the local administration to conduct the burial at the graveyard in the presence of a huge police team.
Krishnpal Singh, a local, said Sunday’s clashes were a result of the administration mishandling the issue over all these years. “ The two communities had clashed with each other over the land two- and- a- half years ago too. However, the administration didn’t find out a solution at the time.” “ Meanwhile, the Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited ( KRIBHCO) acquired the land and disallowed its use by outsiders,” he added.