One person was killed and at least two others were injured during clashes between Dalits and uppercaste Thakurs in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district on Tuesday, reported NDTV. The violence took place before and after a rally by Bahujan Samaj Party chief and former Chief Minister Mayawati. Several incidents of caste clashes have been reported from the region in the past few weeks.
A group of Dalits is believed to have thrown stones at the homes of a few uppercaste families before Mayawati’s rally. The Thakurs then reprotedly attacked a Dalit group returning from the rally. The incident took place near Chandpur village, reported DNA.
“Yes, we have received reports of one person’s death at the local hospital,” said Anand Kumar, the senior-most officer of the Meerut Zone of the UP Police. “Two people are seriously injured. We are still investigating the exact circumstances of the death, whether it has anything to do with the rally. The district police chief is at the spot.”
The state government has deployed a team of senior officials to the district to take stock of the situation. Senior Superintendent of Police Subhash Chandra Dubey, who was at the village where the latest incident of violence took place, said, “Our priority is to maintain peace and ensure that injured get proper treatment.”
Tuesday’s incident was the fourth such clash between the communities in Saharanpur. One person was killed in the same area a fortnight ago during clashes between the two communities. The local administration has suspended two police officers for negligence and arrested at least 30 people in connection with the violence.
On Sunday, hundreds of Dalits, led by the Saharanpur-based organisation Bhim Army, gathered at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to protest against caste-based discrimination in the UP district.