In a clash between Dalit and Bharwad communities, three persons of Dalit community were killed in police firing in Surendranagar district, Gujarat.
The killing of three persons of which two were minors has generated a huge controversy as the Dalit leaders have accused the police of firing at them without any provocation.
Bharwads and Dalits had clashed on Saturday evening regarding putting up a stall at public fair near Thangadh. The clash led to a major fight as members of both communities started using sticks, iron pipes and sharp weapons against each other, forcing police intervention.
"There was a huge crowed which had turned violent. They were holding iron pipes and sticks so first the police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob, which refused to calm down so the police had to resort to firing to bring the situation under control," a police official from Surendranagar said.
However, locals have questioned the police claim on the ground that only Bharwad members were armed while police launched firing at unarmed and innocent Dalit members, who had gathered there following the clash.
"Our persons were not armed and yet police killed our men, who were minors. Everybody knows that Bharwads are powerful and have high handed approach," a local Dalit activist Babulal Solanki told local media.
Meanwhile, Rajkot range IG Pravin Sinha said a magisterial inquiry will be conducted into the incident which led to police firing and killings of three persons.