BJP, RLD supporters clash in UP's Muzaffarnagar

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Meerut (UP), Feb 22 (PTI) A clash broke out between supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal in Muzaffarnagar's Soram village on Monday when Union minister Sanjeev Balyan turned up there for a programme.

Local police station incharge Sanjeev Kumar told PTI that three people were injured in the clash.

A war of words also broke out between BJP leader and Union minister Sanjeev Balyan and RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary over the clash.

The clash took place when Union minister Balyan was in Soram to pay homage to a deceased local but supporters of his party and the RLD had an argument over the ongoing farmers’ protest against new central farm laws.

'Clash between BJP politicians and farmers in Soram village, several injured. If there's no talk in favour of farmers, at least have a good attitude towards them. Respect the farmers! Now farmers will have to tolerate hooliganism of government's representatives who are telling pros of the new laws,' Chaudhary tweeted.

Responding to the charges, Balyan said he was in the village to pay homage to a deceased local. 'Some five to six Lok Dal politicians started misbehaving and hurling abuses. Some locals intervened and sent these people away,' he tweeted in Hindi.

'The way Lok Dal party is trying to disrupt harmony by hiding behind farmers is condemnable,' he added.

Soram in Muzaffarnagar is the epicentre of the influential Balyan Khap, which is headed by Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait.

Tikait's brother and BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait, meanwhile, appealed to people to maintain harmony.

'If a public representative comes to your village, do question him but keep it in a dignified manner. Everybody has a right to put forth their views in a democracy and a public representative must also keep public's sentiments in mind,' Tikait said in a statement.

He said the government should consider farmers' request. PTI CORR/KIS RDK RDK