Ten people were injured as members of the Dalit and Thakur communities clashed over the construction of a drain in Keshopur Jaufari village on Wednesday.
The incident occurred when Suresh Singh, a resident of the village, decided to lay a pipeline near the house of Chandra Pal – a Dalit. When he objected, members of the Thakur community began pelting his residence with stones. As both the groups came to blows, some upper caste members began shooting at Dalits from the rooftops.
Upon being informed about the clash, a police squad rushed to the scene and brought the situation under control. Later, a squad of the provincial armed constabulary was summoned in view of the prevailing tension.
Police said seven of the 10 injured people – identified as Chandra Pal, Satyaveer Singh, Vikas, Rupesh, Bindu Mukesh, Reshma Rajendri and Ganbhir Devi – are Dalits. They have been admitted to the district hospital.
Some attributed the escalation of violence to the Lodha police’s lackadaisical attitude. “Two days ago, we lodged a complaint about this disputed drain. The police, however, did not treat the matter with the seriousness it deserved,” said Sanjay, Chandra Pal’s son.
Dalits in the village contend that the land on which the drain was being constructed belongs to the gram panchayat. However, the Thakurs reject the claim.
Gabhana circle officer Anil Kumar said a case has been registered on the basis of complaints filed by both sides. “Twelve people have been named in the FIR lodged by the Dalits while the Thakurs have named fourteen. Three have been arrested already,” he said.