Tension gripped Mirchpur in Hisar district after upper-caste villagers assaulted a Dalit and his relatives on Monday night.
A large number of police personnel, headed by superintendent of police Rajendra Kumar Meena and deputy commissioner Nikhil Gajraj, were deployed to prevent violence from erupting in the area.
Sources said it all began when Shiv Kumar, a Dalit, won a 1,600-metre-race held at the village on Monday. The same night, he was participating in a bicycle race when a few members of the Jat community started heckling him. Kumar retaliated, and a scuffle broke out .
In his complaint, Kumar’s father Ajmer Singh said relatives who tried to come to the victim’s aid were also assaulted.
When police were alerted to the possibility of an impending clash between the two communities, they arrived at the spot in large numbers. Meena and Gajraj assured Dalit agitators that action would be taken against those behind the assault.
The people injured in the clash were taken to the civil hospital in Hisar for treatment.
This is not the first time Mirchpur has witnessed friction between the two communities. On April 21, 2010, 70-year-old Tara Chand and his physically challenged daughter Suman (16) were burnt alive when a mob of upper-caste members torched 18 houses in the village. As many as 52 people were injured in the incident.
“The government should not have withdrawn paramilitary forces from the village. We demand that the government ensure the safety and security of Dalit villagers, and rehabilitate those affected in the 2010 violence,” said Rajat Kalsan, a Dalit activist.