SC, OBC groups Clash in Uttar Prades’s Lakhimpur Kheri over vandalism of Buddha Statue

Tension escalated in a town in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district on Tuesday following clashes between members of two communities over the alleged vandalism of a Buddha statue. The situation intensified as both sides engaged in stone-pelting, resulting in minor injuries to six individuals, including two police constables.

The conflicting groups traded accusations regarding the vandalism, fueling a heated confrontation. Despite police intervention, the clashes persisted until additional forces arrived to diffuse the situation.

Ganesh Prasad Saha, Superintendent of Police of Lakhimpur Kheri, stated that the issue has been resolved, and authorities have successfully restored control over the situation. This intervention aims to prevent further escalation and maintain peace in the affected area.

The uproar started over a dispute about placing the Gautam Buddha and Ambedkar Statue on disputed lands.

The police have registered cases against 80 people, including both Scheduled Caste and Backward Caste members, on various counts, including rioting, said an officer. However, no arrests have been made so far.

The conflict originated from an event organised by members of the Backward Class at Pakipur village’s gram sabha land on January 22, where they conducted a ‘bhog’ (religious rituals) and hoisted the national flag.

Suspecting it to be their attempt to stake claim over the land, members of the Scheduled Caste on Tuesday installed a Sant Ravidas statue at the same site. In the meantime, news circulated that unidentified miscreants damaged the Gautam Buddha statue at the nearby Ambedkar Park, triggering protests by Scheduled Caste members.

The situation escalated when members of the OBC community joined the protest at Ambedkar park, leading to heated arguments from both sides that eventually turned violent.

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