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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Caste violence erupts again in Dasna after groups clash at peace meet

The members of the two different castes have been at loggerheads since a road rage incident on August 24 in Ghaziabad. Some persons also took to social media where they allegedly posted inflammatory messages, videos and pictures against the other caste.

noida Updated: Sep 16, 2019 10:50 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Police personnel on guard, at Dasna, in Ghaziabad,  on Sunday, September 15, 2019, following clashes between members of two castes.
Police personnel on guard, at Dasna, in Ghaziabad, on Sunday, September 15, 2019, following clashes between members of two castes. (Sakib Ali / HT Photo )
         

Dozens of people from two different castes clashed in UP’s Dasna town on Sunday, following rumours that two persons of one caste were killed by members of the other caste in Achheja village, leading to the alleged murder of a member of the other caste in Bahmehta village, Ghaziabad. The police registered an FIR at the Masuri police station regarding Sunday’s incident against two persons and 100 unidentified people.

The members of the two different castes have been at loggerheads since a road rage incident on August 24 in Ghaziabad. Some persons also took to social media where they allegedly posted inflammatory messages, videos and pictures against the other caste.

During the incident in August, men from Bamheta village in Ghaziabad were allegedly beaten up by several men, including allegedly those from Achheja village, in Gautam Budh Nagar. Sunday’s incident took place outside the Dasna temple where, the police said, a panchayat was held involving members of both communities to broker peace.

An FIR had been registered earlier at the Sihani Gate police station into the road rage incident.

Bamheta is a Yadav-dominated village in Ghaziabad while Achheja is a Gurjar-dominated village in Gautam Budh Nagar. The villages are located about seven kilometres apart.

“A meeting was held between both the castes at the Dasna temple for a peaceful resolution. The meeting was called by Yati Narsimhanand, the mahant of the temple. The issue had almost been resolved peacefully, but some people, who had arrived in cars, started opposing it. In all, nearly 150 people had gathered outside the temple. They pelted stones at each other and fled,” Neeraj Kumar Jadaun, superintendent of police (rural), said.

“The police was already deployed at the spot and the miscreants who had come in cars were driven away by the personnel. Several videos of Sunday’s incident emerged on social media. But we are not clear whether the sounds in the background were made by firing or by modified silencers used in motorcycles,” he added.

The Ghaziabad police had deployed personnel in large numbers at Dasna as the town has been communally sensitive since the August incident. Meanwhile, the police force and the provincial armed constabulary (PAC) personnel have been deployed at Bamheta village, where miscreants damaged an SUV on Friday afternoon—the incident further flared up tensions. A video of this incident also went viral. The Ghaziabad police registered an FIR in this regard against unknown miscreants at Kavi Nagar police station.

After the SUV was damaged in Bamheta, about 100-150 men on motorcycles and SUVs allegedly started from Achheja village towards Bamheta on Friday afternoon and reached up to Lal Kuan. According to the Gautam Budh Nagar police, the men were threatening commuters, while waving rods and sticks around.

The Gautam Budh Nagar police took suo motu coginsance of the incident and registered an FIR against 100-150 unidentified men at the Surajpur police station.

Ever since the road rage incident, members of the two castes had allegedly been posting inflammatory messages against each other on the social media. The Ghaziabad police on Friday had registered another FIR, including under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), at the Kavi Nagar police station and arrested one person named Kapil Kumar in this regard.

On Sunday, two different meetings were held in Ghaziabad in order to broker peace between the two groups. The police said while one meeting was held at the Dasna temple, the other was held around the same time at the nearby Ikla village, led by Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Loni MLA Nand Kishor Gurjar.

“There were a total of 18 people in the meeting at Ikla, comprising members from both the castes. All pending issues were resolved and those who posted messages on social media were asked to post another message apologising to everyone. Meanwhile, tension flared near the temple after rumours were spread in the form of messages stating two persons were killed in Achheja and one person was killed in Bamheta. However, those three persons were sitting right there with us,” Gurjar said.

The two persons who have been named in the FIR include mahant Narsimhanand as well as another person who was inside the temple during the meeting, apart from 100 unidentified persons. Narsimhanand could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

This case brings the total number of FIRs upto four—three in Ghaziabad and one in Gautam Budh Nagar—since the road rage incident on August 24.

Ghaziabad senior superintendent of police Sudhir Kumar Singh did not answer repeated calls for a comment.

First Published: Sep 16, 2019 10:50 IST

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