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Dalits ‘threaten’ to convert to Islam over construction of drain in Aligarh village

The case against Thakurs included charges of rioting, attempt to murder and under SC/ST Act.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
May 23, 2017 4:50:20 am

Aligarh district and police officials on Monday claimed to have resolved issues between Thakurs of Keshavpur village and its Dalits members, several of whom had allegedly threatened to convert to Islam following alleged harassment.
The Dalits, since the last one week, have alleged that police had framed “false” charge under IPC Section 354 (using criminal force with intent to outrage modesty of a woman) against some of them. They had threatened to convert to Islam if the charges were not withdrawn, said Keshavpur pradhan Munni Devi’s husband Devendra Chauhan, a Thakur. The village has mixed population of all castes.

Lodha police Station Officer Virendra Singh said the charge was withdrawn after a probe. “We have conveyed to them the development and there is no other issue,” he added.

The dispute comes in the wake of the Dalit community on May 16 objecting to the construction of a drain at a place where they had planned to install the idol of Bhairav Baba.

The Dalits allegedly thrashed a local, Surendra Chauhan, and the Thakurs retaliated, said Singh. Thirteen people were injured in the clash — six Thakurs and seven Dalits. Police force rushed to the spot and the crowd was dispersed, he added.

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Sing said cross FIRs were lodged on the complaints from both sides. The case against Thakurs included charges of rioting, attempt to murder and under SC/ST Act. The case against Dalits was filed on charges of molestation (now withdrawn) and rioting. So far, 11 people have been arrested.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar area, Pankaj Kumar, said: “The dispute between the two groups has been resolved. Dalits are now satisfied with the police action. He claimed that news of Dalits threatening to convert to Islam is false.

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