Sonbhadra: Twenty-four people have been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s clash over a land dispute in Sonbhadra, even as the death toll in the incident rose to 10 with one more person succumbing to injuries, officials said on Thursday.
18 others were injured when a village head and his supporters allegedly opened fire on a rival group, leading to the clash. The deceased belonged to the Gond tribe.
Superintendent of Police S T Patil said 24 persons have been arrested and attempts are on to nab others.
Police have also arrested Girijesh and Vimlesh, two nephews of the village head, and are trying to trace him as well.
An FIR has been lodged against 61 people including 11 named.
The matter is likely to rock proceedings of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday.
Samajwadi Party legislators are holding a sit-in at Chowdhury Charan Singh statue in assembly premises ahead of the start of the Monsoon session of the state assembly.
With placards in hand, SP leaders alleged that the state government has failed to control law and order.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the Director General of Police to personally monitor the case and ensure action against the culprits, a government spokesperson said.
Adityanath had also directed the Mirzapur commissioner and Additional Director General (Varanasi zone) to jointly investigate the cause of the clash and fix responsibility.
The land in the district’s Ghorawal area earlier belonged to an IAS officer and he had sold it to village head Yagya Dutt, who wanted to take its possession, Uttar Pradesh DGP O P Singh had told PTI.
When Dutt reached the spot with his henchmen in 10 to 12 tractors, local villagers tried to stop them from taking over the land, police said.
Those accompanying him then showered a hail of bullets on villagers, all tribals, killing nine of them.
Official sources said another person injured in the firing died during treatment on Wednesday night. He has been identified as Ashok Gond.
The condition of some of the 18 injured is said to be stable. Some of them with minor injuries have been discharged.