The ongoing tension between two communities following a clash over molestation of a minor girl of Thakur community by a Dalit boy, has adversely affected the studies of about 1,000 students in the government senior secondary school at chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s native village Baniyani in this district.
Following the clash, which left five people injured, heavy police deployment had been made in the village, especially near the school, where the incident of molestation took place on September 9.
Ever since, the attendance of students in the government school in the village has drastically reduced. Out of 50 students in Class 12, only eight (all boys) were present on Monday. Similarly, the number of students in primary classes has also come down to 10-15%, as the parents are not sending their children to school.
“Several students, including the victim of molestation, are not attending their classes. This is very unfortunate as there is no problem at the school. The parents should send their children to school as the board exams are likely to start on September 29”, said district education officer Satyawati Nandal.
“We are talking to parents of the children and urging to send their wards to school as their absence is affecting their studies,” she said. “I will also talk to the Rohtak deputy commissioner for removal of the police from the school,” she added.
‘Dalits not sending children to school’
Majority of students studying in the government school belong to the Dalit community and the members of the upper caste alleged that the Dalits had stopped their children from attending classes to build pressure on the district administration and the police.
“Do you see anything wrong in our village. Everybody is safe. When 10-15% children are attending the classes without any fear, why the others are not coming to the school?” asked Ashok Kumar, a village resident.
Incident brings bad name to CM’s village
The villagers say that the clash between Dalits and Thakur communities has sullied the image of the chief minister’s village.
“Though peace prevails in the village, there are some people who, with an eye on the coming panchayat elections, are politicising the issue for their political interests,” said Sonu, another resident of village.
Three more arrested
Following the threat by the Dalit community members to leave the village, the Rohtak police on Monday swung into action and arrested three people of the Thakur community, who have been booked under the SC/ST Act attacking the Dalits.
The accused have been identified as Somvir, Umedh Singh and Satish, all residents of Baniyani village.
Though the Dalit minor boy, the main accused in the molestation case, is under treatment at the PGIMS Rohtak, the police have not yet arrested him and the other three unnamed youths, who were booked on the same charges.“The main accused is taking treatment at the PGIMS. Though he is not in police custody yet, we are keeping a vigil on him”, said DSP Pushpa Khatri.