A woman from the upper caste allegedly shot dead a Dalit woman in broad daylight on Saturday over a land dispute in Manona village of Mainpuri district. The woman and her husband are absconding.
“A case has been registered at Kurawali police station against the accused woman under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST Act,” said Jagdish Chand, the station in-charge.
Police force was deployed in the village after the incident in view of increasing incidents of violence against Dalits in Mainpuri.
The accused woman, Poonam Tomar, a resident of Barhari village in Etah district, and her sister and nephew had got some land from her grandparents in Manona village. Her sister, Shikha, later sold her share of the land to the victim, Sarla Devi.
Tomar, however, was not pleased with this, and grew even more furious when the Dalit woman began construction on the land she bought. A court case is pending over this dispute.
However, on Saturday, Tomar allegedly went to Manona and shot Devi dead, before absconding with her husband. A country made pistol, suspected to be the murder weapon, was recovered by police.
This incident has worsened the situation in an already sensitive area. A few days ago, a Dalit couple was reportedly hacked to death in Mainpuri for not paying Rs 10 to a shopkeeper belonging to the upper caste. Three more Dalits — one in Kisni and two in Kosma areas of Mainpuri district — have lost their lives in separate incidents in recent times.
Sources said as many as 5,000 women in Mainpuri district have an arms license — one-fifth of the total number of licenses issued.