Six people were arrested during a search operation in Jat-Mujhera village in Muzaffarnagar district on Friday evening, following a clash between two groups from the Jat and Dalit communities.
Police teams have been dispatched to different locations to arrest the accused who opened fire at the group of Dalits. Following the clash, an FIR was lodged at New Mandi police station against nine persons of the village.
The injured are undergoing treatment in a local hospital and are out of danger. “We have made preventive arrests of six persons,” said SSP Muzaffarnagar HN Singh, adding, “It was not a caste clash but an outburst of two groups over a trivial matter”. “The situation is under control and people themselves have taken the initiative to restore peace in the village,” he said.
According to reports, on Thursday night, Raj Singh, a Dalit, had an altercation with Jasbeer, Sitara and Kushal at the Ramlila ground of Jat-Mujhera village.
A peace meeting was arranged at the primary school of the village on Friday morning but both parties began to engage in a verbal duel. The matter took a turn for the worse when youths from either side began pelting stones. The crowd also resorted to firing in which three were injured.
The angry Dalits took to the streets and staged a blockage demanding the immediate arrest of the culprits. The SSP and other senior officials attempted to assure protesters that stern action would be taken but people held the officials responsible for allowing a trivial incident to flare up. “It was indeed negligence of police, as they initially adopted a casual approach in dealing with the problem which eventually turned into a clash,” said Bharatveer Ahlawat, general secretary of the district bar association, who denounced the incident and appealed to people to be calm.