The police in Palwal district of Haryana have arrested three people for allegedly attacking a Dalit family for not switching off the lights at 9 pm on April 5, as suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

The accused, belonging to the Gujjar community, allegedly barged into the house of a Dalit family in Pingore village around 9.30 pm on April 5 and attacked eight people. Dhanpal, the complainant, alleged that the accused used casteist slurs and told them to keep their house lights switched off for the whole night. Besides Dhanpal, his son and daughter and five other family members sustained injuries.

The accused were armed with sticks, iron rods and bricks, Dhanpal alleged. They also indulged in vandalism, he said. Dhanpal, contradicting the attackers, said he had switched off the lights of his home for nine minutes on April 5.

Sadar Station House Officer Jitendra Kumar said that the children of the two families sparred over switching off the lights. Following this, the families began to throw stones at each other, he claimed. They also damaged a vehicle.

A case has been registered on charges of causing hurt and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code. The provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been invoked, The Tribune reported.

Modi had suggested that citizens light candles and switch on mobile flashlights for nine minutes on April 5 to mark the fight against the disease. The coronavirus has so far infected 5,734 people in India, and has killed 166, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.