Caste face-off in Uttar Pradesh claims five Dalits

Amit Sharma

Lucknow, June 13: Just months before the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP), caste tensions have started resurfacing. A prominent Thakur in Jehrana village in Aligarh district, Gullu Singh, along with six associates gunned down five members of a Dalit family on early Wednesday morning, including three women and a 10-year-old girl. However, no arrests were made till late evening even though the murderers have been identified and an FIR filed.

Nearly 10 others who were injured in the firing — whose cause wasn’t known — have been hospitalised. Bahujan Samajwadi Party leader Mayawati was prompt to say that the killings were a failure on the part of the BJP government.

She also accused a minister, Dalbir Singh, of protecting the killers. ‘‘The minister is shielding the culprits and that’s why the local police dare not arrest them. The BSP will soon chalk out a strategy to combat atrocities against dalits,’’ she said.

The UP government has failed to check growing crimes against dalits all over the state. Recently, a dalit family was tortured and a 45-year-old woman burnt to death by upper castes in a village in Jalaun district, but no arrests were made. In fact, the deaths got a political hue when an FIR was lodged against the accused by supporters of the BSP in the panchayat elections.

Police and PAC personnel have been rushed to Jehrana village in Aligarh. ‘‘We hope things will remain normal,’’ said Naresh Dayal, Princpal Secretary, Home. The dead have been identified as Shanker Singh Jatav, Dulari, Shila, Sona and ten-year-old Suggi. 5 dalits shot dead in UP

(Lucknow, June 13)

FIVE DALITS, including three women and a child, were shot dead and two others injured by Thakurs in Jehrana village of Aligarh district early Wednesday morning, it was officially stated here.

The incident was a fallout of an earlier clash between the Thakurs and Jatvas during Holi, a Home Department spokesman told reporters here.

The main accused, Gullu Singh, absconding since the incident, was jailed in 1993 in a murder case, he said. Gullu's mother and uncle have been detained for questioning.

Meanwhile, the district authorities have distributed an exgratia of Rs 1.50 lakhs to the dependents of each of those killed and Rs 75,000 to the kin of the child.

Police and PAC personnel have been deployed in strength in the village, the spokesman added.

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Referred by: Sashi Kanth
Published on: June 14, 2001
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