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Five Dalit men assaulted over land dispute in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri

A Dalit farmer who was assaulted among others by upper caste men over a land dispute in Shivpuri district. Photo: Special arrangement

A Dalit farmer who was assaulted among others by upper caste men over a land dispute in Shivpuri district. Photo: Special arrangement  

The Shivpuri police have registered a case against seven upper caste men for reportedly assaulting five Dalit men over a land dispute in the district on Thursday night.

Members of both the communities cultivated parts of a pasture land in Silra village under the Karera police station, said R.S. Chandel, Superintendent of Police. This incident comes two days after a Dalit couple reportedly consumed pesticide while resisting an anti-encroachment drive in neighbouring Guna district.

“Our team has reached the spot to inquire into the matter. Some of the accused are being questioned,” said Mr. Chandel. The case has been registered under sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 294 (Obscene acts and songs), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Dalit couple consume poison | Madhya Pradesh rights panel seeks reports from government over Guna incident

“There was firing in the air as well. But it wasn’t directed at the farmers,” said Gajendra Singh Kanwar, Additional Superintendent of Police.

‘Land grabbing’

Mahendra Boudh, a social worker, who met the injured men at the district hospital, has alleged that members of the Thakur community wanted to grab their land for which they were thrashed while showing resistance. “At least two got their arms fractured, while one suffered injuries on his head and got stitches,” he said.

“They called people from outside who carried guns and lathis. They fired shots in the air, and landed lathis on us and used gun butts to hit us,” Jaswant Jatav, 50, who’s got an arm fractured in the incident, told The Hindu. “They came to our houses at night and assaulted us,” he added.

Mr. Jatav claimed the Thakurs, who were already cultivating the common pasture lands, wanted to grab the five-bigha patch the Dalit farmers cultivated. “We told them it’s our land, but they used tractors to dig out parts of our fields,” said Mr. Jatav, who owns 2.5 bigha revenue land.

Former State Bhim Army incharge Sunil Astay said atrocities continued against Dalits in the Gwalior-Chambal region of the State unabated. “The bastion of BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is where such atrocities are being reported frequently. Until when can we tolerate this?” he asked. Last year in September, two Dalit children were thrashed to death for defecating in the open by upper caste men in Shivpuri district.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 9:21:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/five-dalit-men-assaulted-over-land-dispute-in-madhya-pradeshs-shivpuri/article32117008.ece

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