Three killed in Gwalior during Dalit protests cremated at midnight
Three of the six people killed on Monday in the violence in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior during protests by Dalits over an alleged dilution of a law that safeguards the marginalised communities were cremated around midnight in the presence of a heavy police deployment.
They include Rakesh Jatav (40) and Deepak Jatav (22), who were shot dead in Gwalior city, and Vimal Buddha killed at Dabra town in Gwalior district.
The district administration and police put in measures ensure there was no violence in the district at the time of their cremation.
Two others were killed in Bhind and one in Morena, all in the worst-hit Gwalior-Chambal region, on Monday.
The violence in several districts of the state, which emerged as the epicentre, erupted when Dalit groups were enforcing a ‘Bharat bandh’ to protest the Supreme Court’s March 20 ruling on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The Dalit allege it whittled down safeguards guaranteed by legislation meant to protect the marginalised communities from abuse and discrimination.
Sources in the police said Rahul Pathak was not the victim of the violence in Morena that erupted during the protests but was killed by a rival group from his college. He was shot dead while watching the protest on streets from the balcony of his house.
The rivals of Pathak, who was the secretary of the students’ union of his college, took advantage of the violence on the street to settle their score with him, the sources added. However, the police are yet to confirm it.
A heavy police force, as well personnel of the paramilitary forces, has been deployed in the violence-hit areas of the state.
Officials in the police headquarters in Bhopal said the force deployed includes 16 companies of special armed force, four companies of Rapid Action Force, two companies of the special task force and 3,000 newly recruited constables.
All the superintendents of police have been asked to take measures in view of the violence that took place on Monday.