Saharanpur killing: Police rules out caste angle, says Bhim Army activist died in ‘accidental firing’

The Meerut Police claimed to have busted a conspiracy to create caste tensions in western Uttar Pradeshs Saharanpur by killing a leader of the upper case to avenge the killing of a Bhim Army activist. The Indian Express reported that the police have arrested six persons who were planning to kill an upper caste leader. They were arrested near Hastinapur police station in Meerut. However, no arms were recovered from their possession. According to police, Bhim Army activist Sachin Walia had died in an accidental firing and there was no caste angle in his murder. Walia was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon from a very close range in Saharanpur allegedly by Thakurs. Police said that the six arrested persons are sympathisers of the Bhim Army. They are Rahul, Deepak, Satveer Singh and Ravindra Kumar of Meerut; and Nitin and Bunti of Ghaziabad. All are in their 20s. Additional Director General (ADG) Prashant Kumar said that Sachins death was a result of an accidental firing. He said that officials have collected blood samples from the incident site and during an investigation, it was found that attempts were made to clean blood stains. The Indian Express had earlier reported that when police reached the incident site on Wednesday, few people were cleaning the blood stains. Police said that after Sachins killing, they had put few numbers under surveillance. Additional Superintendent of Police, Rural (Meerut), Rajesh Kumar told IE that a conversation between Rahul and Nitin was reported by officials in which they were planning to kill a leading upper caste leader to avenge Sachins death. Kumar said that during the course of further investigation, it was found that there were more people involved in the planning. He said that the gang had also arranged a vehicle and weapon and were planning to leave for Saharanpur soon. Sachin was shot dead on Wednesday afternoon. His relatives had claimed that people belonging to Thakur community had killed him. Based on a complaint filed by the deceased family, the police had filed an FIR against five people belonging to the Thakur community. Sachins killing took place in the midst of tension between two communities over permission being granted to Thakurs to celebrate Maharana Pratap Jayanti.