Hinduan: Caste system in Hindu religion has been existing since ages with upper caste looking down upon lower caste, SC, ST. Recently an upper caste mob provoked by Bharat Bhandh held by SC/ST outfits attacked a Dalit community punishing them for belonging to a lower caste in Rajasthan’s Karauli District.
The incident was reported from Hinduan city of Karauli District, a home to thousands of SC families who were reportedly beaten punished for the voice raised by SC/ST outfits, Indian Express reported.
The very next day angry injured Dalit men gathered around the 8 ft Ambedkar statue and vowed to “convert to Islam” if any similar incidents happen in the future.
Narrating the ordeal this Dalit community had to experience, Ashiwin Jatav showing his bruised back said, “They checked our identity cards to make sure we were Dalits before they thrashed us. They were all from upper castes and didn’t even spare the women.”
The mob had reportedly attacked houses of two Dalit politicians — BJP’s MLA Rajkumari Jatav from Hindaun and the Congress’s Bharosi Lal Jatav, from Jatav Basti.
Heavy police was deployed to contain the situation in Hinduan city were many Dalit houses were torched, vehicles burnt, Internet suspended.
Ashwini claims the attack was carried out by the Hindu extremists groups while the Police deny the claims. Other people from the Jatav community believe “anti-social” elements were behind the violence.
N R K Reddy, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, responding to Ashwini’s claims said, “At this moment, there is no evidence to indicate the involvement of Hindu fundamentalist groups. Preliminary investigation suggests there was an anti-Jatav sentiment among other castes who also accused the Jatav community of molesting a few women during Bharat Bandh. We are investigating all these accusations and counter-accusations.”
He added that the mob had already torched houses, vehicles, shops, beaten Dalits near the Station road and were proceeding towards the Jatav settlement when the Police intervened.
BJP MLA Jatav appealed the people in the area to maintain law and order.
While 47-year-old Pushpendra Jatav said they did participate in the Bharat Bandh, but “ours was a peaceful protest”. “We were specifically targeted by the upper castes, who united against us… If this goes on, we will have no choice but to convert to Islam.”
Another resident of the area, 40-year-old Chandramohan Jatav says “We are anyway not counted as Hindus. We are still ignored.”
Worrying about their lives in the settlement, Ashwini said they are afraid to talk too much. “If they can burn the houses of the MLA, who are we? Upper caste people have police, administration… even most of the media tells their story.”
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Another community elder Nathilal Jatav said they only wanted a peaceful demonstration but “anti-social elements” were behind the violence. He added, “There was no intention to resort to violence or to damage property.”
Karauli District Collector Abhimanyu Kumar said the situation In Hinduan city was under control now. He added, “a rally was called in protest against Monday’s violence where protesters tried to force traders to close their shops. The situation went out of control.”
While Additional DGP B L Soni, said, “Curfew was relaxed between 1 pm and 6 pm on Wednesday and a further decision will be taken after reviewing the situation. We have appealed to all the communities to restore peace.”
However, relatives of 40 arrested accused of Tuesday’s violence are claiming their innocence demanding their release.
One of the relatives of other arrested accused, Lalitha Mittal said “My two nephews, Santosh and Ashok Khandelwal, were picked up from our house. They were just watching the protests from home,” adding both are aged around 30 years and work as an electrician and a salesman.
While another accused arrested is a painter. His elder brother Subhash Chand Jain says, “We have no idea when he will be released.”