Three more people were arrested over a violent clash between Jats and Dalits that had claimed four lives and left several injured in Dangawas village of Rajasthan’s Nagaur district, police said on Sunday.
The three accused — Kanaram Jat, Omaram Jat and Kaluram Jat — were arrested from Dangawas village late on Saturday, said Nagaur deputy superintendent of police Punaram Dudi.
So far four accused have been arrested and six other people are being questioned, he said.
“They had fled the village after the violence. But late on Saturday, we got information that they were back and we arrested them. Eight other accused are still absconding.”
The arrested accused have been booked under Sections 302, 307, 427 436 of the Indian Penal Code. They were produced in the Nagaur district court and have been remanded in police custody for two days.
Police teams are raiding neighbouring villages to nab the other accused, he added.
The district administration has sent a report on the incident to the home department and chief minister’s office.
Nagaur collector Rajan Vishal said a report about the incident has been sent to the home department and to the chief minister’s office.
The situation in Dangawas, about 250 km west of state capital Jaipur, was calm on Sunday and people went about their work as usual, wanting to put the incident behind them.
The violence was sparked by a dispute over 24 bighas of land between a Jat and a Dalit man that snowballed into a violent caste clash on Thursday, police said. Three Dalits and a Jat were killed in the clash and 13 others injured.
Rajasthan public works department minister Yunus Khan visited the village amidst allegation of the district administration’s laxity in handling the clash between Jats and Dalits. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes chief PL Punia on Saturday had indicted the administration of Nagaur district for laxity in handling the clash.
Khan met people from both the groups and assured them that the accused would be arrested soon.
Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the incident in which the Jats allegedly thrashed the Dalits, molested women, flattened their homes with tractors and even tried to crush them under tractors.
“It is worrisome that the accused involved… are still not arrested. The law and order situation in the state is deteriorating…,” he said.
He said irresponsible and insensitive statement by home minister Gulab Chand Kataria is very unfortunate,” said Gehlot.
Kataria on Saturday had said “police do not have a magic wand to make arrests immediately. The accused will be arrested soon.”
Merta legislator Sukhram Meghwal, who has been missing while the incident was simmering for the past two weeks, when asked why he had not tried to intervene and talk to Jats and Dalits, said, “I had asked the villagers to call me if there was a problem. But neither the Jats nor the Dalits called me.” “If I had gone on my own, I might have been blamed for instigating violence,” he added.