Friday, November 07, 2003

7 members of Dalit family burnt alive

Friday, November 7, 2003 (Lucknow):

Seven members of a Dalit family were burnt alive, in their house in a village in Uttar Pradesh.

Their attackers were also Dalits, and the main accused in the incident was the village pradhan. The incident is believed to be a sequel to the dispute between the two groups over grazing of goats.

"My goat was missing and somebody else tied it in his field. They came to my house and beat up my family including my mother and then burnt them up," said Ram Sumer, the lone survivor of the family.

Turf battle

The people killed from the Kanjar caste. The Pradhan too is a Dalit but from the powerful Pasi community.

To prevent the issue from snowballing further into a clash between both communities, senior police officials were quick to arrive at the village.

"It's not a clash between castes but between Pasi and Kanjar groups. We are keeping an eye on the situation. We will take action," said Jagmohan Yadav, DIG, Lucknow Range.

Within a few hours, the Pradhan and his 10 accomplices were put behind bars. But they maintain that they are innocent.

"My home is very far from his house. It is not possible for me to have done that," said Bulai Ram, an accused. The state administration is maintaining a vigil in the village to avoid further clashes between the two communities.

Source: NDTV, November 7, 2003

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