7 hurt in caste clash near Hoskote


Seven persons were injured and two huts destroyed following clashes between Caste Hindus and Dalits in Hoskote Taluk, the hotbed of political and caste-based conflicts in Bangalore Rural dis-trict, on Tuesday night.

Trouble fomented at Obalahalli village, 22 kms from Hoskote, in Nandagudi police station limits around 9 pm when youths belong-ing to Golla community and own-ing allegiance to the Congress allegedly resorted to stone throw-ing at the houses of dalits. While three persons have been arrested on charges of arson and assault by Nandagudi police, three persons, including a girl, have sustained burns and serious injuries.

Recounting the incident, a vil-lager, told Deccan Herald that the clash was triggered by a broken lamp in front of a house which the members of the Golla community thought was damaged by dalits.

With the news spreading, the Golla youths grouped themselves and started throwing stones at the tile- roofed house of Venkatappa in the Harijan Colony. Five women and four children were present in the house.

Pointing to the stone-hit marks on the mud wall, Suma, daughter-in- law of Venkatappa, alleged that the miscreants barged into the house and stole four bags of ragi after threatening the inmates. My daughter Anjayamma was hit with a big stone on her chest,she said.

The miscreants later set fire to the huts belonging to Narayanaswamy and Venkataramanappa. However, neither any human casualty nor damage was reported.

While Venkatappa lodged a complaint pertaining to the stone throwing incident accusing 10 per-sons, Narayanaswamy accused seven persons of setting fire to the huts. Police have arrested one Narasimhaiah in connection with stone throwing and Muniyappa and Malikarjun for setting fire to the huts.

BACKGROUND: It is learnt that clashes on Tuesday is a result of the simmering differences between the members of Golla community and the dalits, who identify themselves with the Janata Dal, that came to the fore following the recent Gram Panchayat elections.

There are about 120 houses in the village and of these 90 houses belong to the kGollam community, 20 to Adi Karnataka, eight Adi Dravida and two Lingayat houses.

On the political plank, nearly 70 Golla houses owe allegiance to Congress leader Muni Channe Gowda while the others are loyal to Janata Dal leader Chowdappa.

The gram panchayat member Rajappa said ltill the recent gram panchayat elections everything was peaceful in the village. But, with the political parties trying to assert their positions, clashes are recurringn. However, the mem-bers of Golla community dis-missed the allegations by the dal-its as a mere drama enacted to fix them in false cases.

Bangalore Rural District Superintendent of Police S Ramakrishna visited the spot.

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