A day after violent communal clash and arson rocked Asthan village in the Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered the suspension of both the district magistrate and superintendent of police.
Trouble erupted in the village following the recovery of the body of 13-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly gang-raped and murdered by four Muslim men. Even as the girl went missing on June 20 and her battered body was found on the following day, no effort was made by district authorities to get the post-mortem.
Local officials failed to act even after stones were pelted during the funeral procession, which passed through the locality of the alleged culprits.
Soon the violence escalated as some persons set fire to houses.
The sub-divisional magistrate and the police officer visited the village 24 hours after the incident. The district magistrate and superintendent of police but did not make any efforts to diffuse the tension even after situation went out of control.
According to an official report submitted by a senior police official, large-scale arson started in the presence of the district magistrate and superintendent of police, but they failed to take appropriate steps to contain it. Only after the arrival of the zonal inspector general of police that the situation could be brought under control. Even as rival groups clashed and went about setting ablaze dozens of shops and homes they remained mute, the report said.
Taking serious note of the development, Yadav decided to order prompt action.
Sources close to him said that the chief minister was convinced that the situation would not have deteriorated if the district magistrate and superintendent of police behaved more responsibly and taken swift action.