Demand for judicial probe into Poanta violence turned down

Shimla: Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Monday turned down the opposition demand for a judicial probe in the recent violence at Poanta Sahib in which 3 persons were killed.

Senior congress leaders Kaul Singh, Gangu Ram Musafir and Harshwardhan Chauhan demanded a judicial probe by a sitting High Court judge soon after the chief minister made a suo motto statement about the violent incident.

Asking the opposition to desist from fishing in troubled waters, Dhumal said that great deals of efforts were employed in reigning in the tension between the two communities who had clashed on 23rd and 24th March.

Five persons belong to Bahati community (OBC) were returning home after Holla Mohal festivities on 23rd March, when they were attacked with sharp weapons by youths of another community that left three dead and two were seriously injured, said the chief minister.

To prevent a backlash on caste lines, extra police was rushed to Poanta Sahib to contain the violence from escalating. Eight persons had been detained for the murderous attack and another other suspects were at large.

On 24th an unruly mob burnt down a police bus, damaged a fire brigade and other vehicles, 7 houses of Valmiki community were damaged and 6 were burnt down.

For failing to apprehend the mounting tension among the youths of the two communities, the government has put and police officer and a constable under suspension. Besides the murder suspects, cases had been registered against those who indulged in violence and damaged private and public property.

Eighteen families of Valmiki community, who had fled from their dwellings after violence had erupted in the township, have returned back to their home.

He said that cause of the violence appeared to be old rivalry but the real cause was being investigated.

The opposition members were demanding a judicial probe so that it could be an impartial one and help to ease the prevailing tension in the region,

However, the chief minister said that the government was satisfied with the steps taken by the police and the situation had been contained so there was no cause for a judicial probe.

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