This could be an indication of things to come as water scarcity is becoming a serious problem in drought-affected areas.
The fight over acquisition of a private well in Banewadi village of Sangli district led to a clash between two groups on Monday, leaving six injured. Sangli is one of the drought-affected districts, with 94 villages being supplied drinking water by tankers due to acute water shortage.
With the only public well going dry, a gramsabha — a meeting of villagers — was called to decide on which of the two private wells should be acquired by the government to provide drinking water to the village. A decision to use the well owned by Popat Jagtap, the husband of village sarpanch Sangeeta, was taken in the earlier meeting. However, on Monday, the rival group insisted that Jotiram Jagtap’s well should be acquired. The heated arguments soon turned violent with the two groups attacking each other with swords, knives and sticks.
Both the groups have registered complaints against each other. A case of rioting has been registered against 37 people and six of them have been arrested so far.
Heavy police security was deployed in the village and near the two wells following the incident. Sub-inspector Shriram Jadhav said more arrests are likely to take place.