Violence erupted between the youth of two castes at Begumpur Khatola village in Gurgaon on Wednesday after a video of a quarrel between body builders, belonging to the two castes, during a championship at Karawal Nagar in Delhi, went viral on Facebook.
Around 8 to 10 gunshots were fired around 11.30am and two persons were injured in the clash between opposing groups of Rajput and Gujjar youths of Begumpur Khatola, over the alleged casteist comments posted against each other on Facebook a few days ago.
A clash was reported in the village on Tuesday as well among the youth from the village over the same social media post. The incident on Wednesday led to tension in the village. Youth from both sides were standing in groups carrying sticks and other weapons in the anticipation of an attack from the other group.
Complaints from both sides were registered at Badhshapur Police station. The police also collected the used cartridges from the village. However, no arrest was made in connection with the case.
Following the clash on Tuesday, elders from both the communities held a panchayat on Wednesday morning, in which it was decided that peace would be maintained at all costs. However, just half an hour later, a mob of around 150 to 200 youth on bikes and SUVs entered the village carrying weapons and firearms. Several cars and three-wheelers were damaged in the violence that followed.
“Around 8 to 10 gunshots were fired and we ran inside our houses to escape their wrath. The youth were from Begumpur as well as neighbouring villages of Khandsa, Narsingpur and other areas. They misbehaved with us and threatened us with dire consequences,” Sanjeev Kumar of the Rajput community, said.
Begumpur is predominantly a Rajput-dominated village and Gujjars are a minority. It has a population of around 5,000 but it is surrounded by Gujjar villages all around. However, no such incident of casteist violence has taken place in the past, the locals said.
Members of the Gujjar community alleged that a large group of youth on Tuesday had attacked the house of one Lallu Ram, over the incident, around 3pm on Tuesday, and injured the family members.
“The casteist slurs on Facebook led to the attack on my family members. They are injured. The attackers made casteist slurs, misbehaved and threatened us,” said Dharmpal, brother of Lallu Ram.
On Tuesday morning, members of the Rajput community alleged that a group of youth on bikes and SUVs made multiple rounds of the village, threatened them, and misbehaved with them over the slurs on Facebook. “The threats infuriated the youth who were forced to react,” a villager said.
Rajender Kumar, the station house officer of Badshahpur police station, said that cases have been registered on the complaints of both sides under sections 307, 427, 147 and 148 of IPC. “The matter is being investigated and those responsible for the violence will be nabbed soon,” Kumar said.