Ten people were injured in clashes between Dalits and Thakurs over the building of a drain in Uttar Pradesh’s Keshopur Jaufari village on Wednesday. The incident took place after Suresh Singh, a member of the upper caste Thakur community, laid a pipeline near the house of Chandra Pal, a Dalit, Hindustan Times reported.
When Pal protested against the pipeline, angry Thakurs allegedly started throwing stones at his house. The clash escalated and matters came to a head when the Thakurs started shooting at members of the other community from rooftops. Police were called in and security in the village and its surroundings was increased to prevent further communal flare-ups.
Seven of the 10 injured were Dalits.
The dispute was aggravated by confusion over the ownership of the land. While the Dalits say the land through which the drain is to pass belongs to the gram panchayat, the Thakurs reject the claim.
Uttar Pradesh has seen a number of clashes between the two communities recently, particularly in Saharanpur. Earlier this month, violence erupted in Saharanpur’s Shabbirpur village when upper caste members organised a procession to commemorate the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. Some reports said the Dalit community had objected to the loud music played during the event. Other versions claimed that a statue of BR Ambedkar was vandalised, still others said that the villagers were upset with the Thakurs for allegedly preventing an Ambedkar statue from being installed. One person was killed in the violence.