Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Eight injured in clash between Dalits, upper caste persons

As many as eight persons, including a woman, were injured in a clash between some Dalits and upper caste persons over a trivial issue at Bhagwatipur village under Rohtak sadar police jurisdiction, about 15 km from here, on Sunday.

According to reports, while 6 of the injured including the woman, belong to a scheduled caste, 2 others are from a dominant upper caste.

While one of the Dalit victims is admitted in the local civil hospital, 2 upper caste victims are admitted in the PGIMS for treatment.

Rest of the injured persons received minor injuries.

Both the affected parties have lodged reports against each other with the local sadar police. While the police made attempts to facilitate a compromise by organising a panchayat , with representatives from both sides, at the village on Tuesday, some political leaders described it as an attack on innocent Dalits and criticised the role of the police and the civil administration.

The trouble started on Sunday morning when some upper caste youth objected to a Dalit youth engaged in construction work wearing only an underwear on the plea that it looked obscene.

Later, in the evening several upper caste men, allegedly carrying lathis and sharp-edged farm implements, went to the Dalit basti of the village.

There a clash occurred between the Dalits and the upper caste men after heated arguments over the morning incident.

While the Dalits pelted stones on the upper caste men, the latter attacked the former with whatever they were carrying. Raj Karan, Manoj, Daryao Singh, Narender, Sombir and Darshna, all Dalits received injuries in the violent clash.

Mukhtyar Singh and Joginder both from the opposite side of upper castes sustained injuries in the incident, a police press note issued here on Tuesday said. The press note added that the medical examination did not reveal any injury caused by sharp-edged weapons.

There was no caste tension in the village and the incident occurred following a quarrel between children belonging to the opposite parties, the police claimed, denying targeting of any woman in the incident by any of the two groups of people involved.

Source: Hindustan Times, November 13, 2002

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