Two policemen were suspended today and 34 people have been arrested in connection with clashes during a Durga idol immersion procession here that led to the death of a 6-year-old girl. "SHO Devanand and SI Pappu Yadav of Fakharpur police station have been suspended for laxity in connection with clashes between members of two communities during the procession," SP Saligram Verma said. "FIR has been lodged against 54 persons, of whom 34 have been arrested. 300 to 400 unnamed people have also been mentioned in the FIR," the SP said. They have been booked under sections of the IPC related to arson, scuffle, murder and attempt to murder, he added. IG Mohit Agarwal today visited the affected area and said that the stringent NSA will be invoked against the "mischievous" elements. "The 37 families whose houses were set afire by the mob have been given cheques of Rs 7,900 each," cabinet minister and local MLA, Yasir Shah said, adding the Chief Minister has already extended an ex-gratia of Rs 9 lakhs to the family of the deceased girl. Meanwhile, BJP regional president, Mukut Bihar Verma alleged the police had taken "one-sided" action in the incident and the FIR of the "other-side" was not being filed. "The majority community exercised utmost restraint and also delayed the immersion by a day to facilitate peaceful passage for Moharram.
But when the Durga procession was targeted, there was bound to be reactions which was, however, too harsh," Verma said. "The death of the girl in the incident is very unfortunate", he said, adding locals have alleged that people set fire to their huts to get government aide. Tensions were triggered yesterday after the procession from Baheliya village to Dhanaura pond was targetted by a stone-pelting mob in Tatehara hamlet. Enraged processionists allegedly set huts afire killing the six-year-old daughter of one Ashfaq who was trapped inside her house and could not escape.
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