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Bihar: Dalit killed,40 injured in clash over flag hoisting

Nine people,including a 14-year-old boy,have been admitted to the Patna Medical College.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
August 17, 2013 2:36:19 am

A Dalit man was killed and more than 40 people were injured when upper caste people attacked them over common use of government land for hoisting the national flag on Thursday at Baddi village in Bihar’s Sasaram district.

Nine people,including a 14-year-old boy,have been admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital with serious injuries,while 30 people have been admitted to the Sasaram hospital.

Home Secretary Amir Subhani and Inspector General of Police (weaker sections) Arvind Pandey visited the spot on Friday. Police registered an FIR against 35 people,11 of whom have been arrested. The Baddi police station in-charge,Balwant Kumar Singh,has been suspended.

The incident took place when a group of Dalits gathered in front of Ravidas temple to hoist the national flag,a practice they have been following for years. Dalits have 80-odd households while there are more than 500 Rajput families in Baddi village.

The Rajputs,who had also planned to hoist the tricolour this year in front of a statue of freedom fighter Nishant Singh,had also gathered near the Ravidas temple. The two caste groups had been arguing over use of common government land for last fortnight without arriving at any compromise.

On Thursday,the Rajput group allegedly first objected to the Dalits hoisting the national flag at the place and then started beating them up. Villagers told the police that while most Dalit youths of the village managed to escape after 500-odd people surrounded them,the Dalit women,children and aged people could not escape and were beaten up mercilessly with bricks,sticks and iron rods. Ramvilas Ram (60) died after being attacked with stones.

The upper caste group also allegedly opened fire. An eight-year-old boy,who suffered bullet injuries,has been admitted to Benares hospital.

Home Secretary Subhani said: “The government has taken serious note of the incident. We will cancel arms licence of all Baddi villagers. A detail report of the incident is being sought.”

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