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Sonbhadra massacre: Adityanath meets victims’ kin, blames Congress for killings


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who met the family members of the 10 people shot dead in Sonbhadra on Sunday, blamed the Congress for the massacre.

The Chief Minister claimed the deaths were the result of a ‘very big political conspiracy’ that had exposed the opposition’s ‘anti-Dalit, anti-tribal face’.

“This incident is a very big political conspiracy. The foundations were laid in 1955 when this land was transferred to a trust. In 1989 a Congress government in UP transferred the land (back) to individual members,” he said.

Hitting out at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who went to meet the bereaved family, he accused Gandhi of shedding ‘crocodile tears’ over the farmers’ deaths. Gandhi had been detained by state police on Saturday while trying to meet the families of those killed.

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The UP CM also announced compensation of Rs 18.50 lakh each for the kin of 10 people who were shot dead in Umbha village and Rs 2.5 lakh each to those injured. The government had earlier announced compensations of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50,000 respectively.

Several Samajwadi Party workers were detained by the police ahead of Adityanath’s visit. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) are in force in the village.

Yogi Adityanath had promised strict action against the accused and, in particular, Yagya Dutt, who he said was “an active member of the Samajwadi Party”. He also said Yagya Dutt’s brother was with the Bahujan Samaj Party.

On July 17, 10 persons were killed when the village headman and his associates allegedly opened fire at them over a land dispute. Over 20 people sustained injuries in the incident.

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