Two members of the Dalit community were injured when a group of armed men forcibly entered their home and beat them up in Meerut’s Kashi village Thursday evening.
An FIR was registered under charges including rioting, attempt to murder, as well as under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act), on the basis of which three persons have been arrested so far. The injured were identified as Rajpal Jatav, 48, and his son Pintu, 22. Police said it was a “planned attack”.
The FIR, registered at Partapur police station on the basis of a complaint filed by Rajpal said that earlier in the day, one Imran, 43, a resident of neighbouring Sohna village, tried to cycle across Rajpal’s freshly sown paddy field, to which the father and son objected. This led to a heated argument after which, according to the FIR, Imran left the place warning them that he will “settle scores” in the evening. The complaint further said that when Rajpal and Pintu returned home, around a dozen men led by Imran and carrying firearms thrashed them and two others who rushed to their rescue. When more villagers started rushing towards them, the group fired bullets in the air and left.
The village turned tense as news of the attack spread, so police personnel rushed to the spot to prevent further trouble.
“We have lodged an FIR under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and 325 (voluntarily causing hurt) besides the SC/ST Act,” said Neeraj Malik, in-charge of Partapur police station. “Three persons — Imran, Israr (40) and Julfikar (35) — have been arrested so far. Raids are being conducted to nab others involved in the incident,” said Ranvijay Singh, SP (City).
Two similar incidents have taken place in the district since August. On August 9, a 17-year-old Dalit youth, Rohit Jatav, was killed and eight persons were injured when a group of Thakurs in Uldepur village attacked their homes following a dispute. On October 2, members of the Dalit and Gurjar community clashed in Rithani village. Six persons, including a 7-year-old Dalit boy were injured. Meerut SSP Akhilesh Kumar has issued instructions to heads of all 28 police stations in the district to deal sternly with trouble-makers in inter-caste or communal clashes.