Several dozen members of the Manganiyar community have left a Jaisalmer village after they were allegedly threatened by members of the Rajput community. The police, however, said they haven’t been able to verify the claim.
“Ahmad Khan, a Manganiyar Muslim, used to make a living by playing songs on harmonium in Dantal village. On September 27, at about 10.30 pm, there was a jagran in a local temple and Ahmad went there for bhajan. However, the bhopa (exorcist) Ramesh Suthar, who was apparently drunk, kept telling Khan that he didn’t know how to play,” said Girdhar Singh, Sub Inspector, Phalsoond police station. “Khan was then allegedly assaulted by Suthar. Khan later died. But he was also a cardiac patient, so it is not clear if he died of a heart attack or from the assault,” he said, “It will be clearer once we get a report of his viscera.”
“Initially, he was buried by members of his community and the village panchayat tried to address the dispute but the discussions remained inconclusive. Later, the family approached us and we lodged an FIR against Suthar and his brothers Tara Ram and Shyamlal under IPC sections 302 (murder), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), as well as other sections,” the SI said.
“The Manganiyars wanted the Rajputs to support them in lodging an FIR against members of the Suthar community. However, Rajputs didn’t agree, saying they have good relations with Suthars. Prima facie the Manganiyars left the village in protest,” Jaisalmer SP Gaurav Yadav told The Indian Express. “Some Manganiyar men claimed that some Rajput youths threatened them, but we haven’t been able to verify the claim yet. But to prevent any untoward incident, we have deployed four constables with the Manganiyars and warned the Rajputs,” he said.
“We are trying to convince them to return to the village,” he said, adding that close to 100 Manganiyars have left the village.
Meanwhile, Suthar was arrested and will be in police custody till October 10, SI Singh said.