Caste Hindus terrorise Dalits in MP's Mugalia


Upper caste members ran amuck, pulling down the huts of Dalits in village Mugalia, about 15 kms, from Indore on August 5, after a Dalit woman was cremated in the funeral ground reserved for the upper castes. The Dalits staged a demonstration at Indore on the same day threatening to 'take up arms' if the law fails to protect them. The Bahujan Samaj Party held a day-long dharna at Bhopal on Monday to protest against the incident.

The Dalit woman was cremated at the funeral ground reserved for the upper caste Patidars as it was raining and the Harijan funeral ground did not have a sheltered area for cremation. That was on August 3. The next day, enraged Patidars, whose population in the village exceeds entered the Harijan basti and began pulling down the huts. The terrorised dalits were driven out of the basti and all the 65 huts were torched. The dalits took shelter in the open. Fearful of further reprisals, they are unwilling to rebuild their houses. The matter was reported to the police but no action, beyond deploying a posse of policemen in the village 'to prevent clashes', was taken.

The next day, an angry demonstration was held at Indore under the auspices of some NGOs at Indore. A memorandum was submitted to the divisional Commissioner. Speakers at the demonstration threatened that they would be forced to take to arms if the state fails to protect them. There is palpable tension in the area.

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Referred by: Mukundan C.M.
Published on:August 8, 2001
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