Friday, November 07, 2003

7 Dalits burnt alive because their goat strayed

Bodies of the seven Dalits who were burnt to death by other Dalits at a village in Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh, being taken for post-mortem examination on Thursday.

LUCKNOW: Seven Dalits from the Kanjar sub-caste were burnt alive by members of another Dalit sub-caste, the Pasis, in a remote village in Unnao district, 55 km from Lucknow late on Wednesday night.

Among the dead were three children. Another six, who sustained severe burns, were in a critical condition in a local hospital.

The police have arrested 11 accused, including the village pradhan.

Preliminary reports suggested that it all began with a fight over a goat _ it belonged to a Kanjar _ straying into the fields of the main accused, Ram Nath Pasi.

According to Home Secretary D Diptivilasa, the incident involved Kanjars and Pasis of Dostpur Shivli village. Twice on Wednesday afternoon, there was an altercation between the goat's owner, Babu Lal, and Ram Nath.

But matters did not end there. Ram Nath and 10 other Pasis, including the village pradhan, raided Babu Lal's house around 10 pm. After assaulting his family members, they put the bolts on the door to the house and set it ablaze. Later, they torched an adjacent house, belonging to a relative of Babu Lal.

The Home Secretary said seven persons were charred to death. On the basis of an FIR lodged by Babu Lal, the police arrested Ram Nath and the other 10 involved in the attack.

November 7, 2003


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