Five Days after about 20 Dalit families fled Parkham village in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, after a mob lynched a Dalit man and injured another for allegedly raping and killing a minor, the villagers have started to return.
“At about 3.40 pm today, a couple and a woman from another Dalit family returned to the village. They still seem a little afraid… they accompanied policemen with folded hands. Although some of them have returned, they still hesitate to bring their children back. The other families will also return when they see that there is no tension in the village,” said Neeraj Thakur, a resident of the village.
“There is peace in the village now and the families that fled are starting to return. We held a meeting with villagers, and a committee with some responsible members of the village has been formed to monitor the situation,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mathura, Rakesh Singh.
“Our force is still deployed in the village to keep the peace. The Valmiki families decided that the women would return first… They have been living there for years and the villagers have no objection to their return,” he said.
On July 28, a mob targeted two Dalit men after one of them reportedly confessed to a group of villagers that they had raped and killed a 12-year-old upper caste girl. One was killed, while the other was injured.
“There is no tension. We have no problem with the Valmiki families. They are free to come back to their homes,” said the girl’s father.
“We expect all the families to return to the village over the next four days. The situation is under control,” said the SSP.
The UP police has filed two FIRs in the case — one for the rape-murder, and the other for the mob attack.