ALLIGARH: Dalits in a village in Aligarh have threatened to convert to Islam, alleging that the police were targeting them following a clash with upper caste Thakurs over the construction of a drain.
Members of the community in Keshopur village had on May 16 clashed with Thakurs. Several persons, mostly Dalits, were injured in the violence, following which police complaints were filed by both sides.
The Dalits in the village staged a protest and alleged that the police discriminated against them when it came to taking action.
“Though we lodged complaints with the district administration, officials failed to take action. So we decided to embrace Islam. Today we immersed idols of deities in the village pond in protest,” Chandra Veer Jatav quoted HIndustan Times.
They threatened to convert to Islam “if justice is not done” by Saturday. SDM Pankaj Kumar Verma told PTI that the incident was being probed “in a fair and an unbiased manner”.
“Our children and women are not going out in fear. So we decided to convert. Police have slapped wrong sections of the IPC on Dalits. If this injustice is not stopped, we will embrace Islam on Friday,” Dalit Hari Singh Jatav accuses Thakurs and police of harassment.
Verma said disputes over drains and water channels are normal in rural areas but “they do not lead to such inter-caste clashes”. “We have appealed to both sides to show restraint and have faith in authorities,” he added.
With PTI inputs