The Hindu – Saharanpur Dalits fear they will be driven out

Complain to District Magistrate, SSP of harassment

Meerut, 1 June 2017. Dalit residents of Shabbirpur village, which witnessed caste clashes and violence last month, approached the District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police of Saharanpur on Thursday, alleging that members of the dominant Thakur community were harassing them and trying to force them to leave the village.

They also complained to the DM Pramod Kumar Pandey and SSP Babloo Kumar about eve teasing by members of the Thakur community. The DM and the SSP assured the dalits that police had been deployed in the village and no one would harm them.

Large-scale destruction

Two people died and over three dozen were seriously injured in caste clashes that broke out in Saharanpur after the dalits of Shabbirpur objected to the loud music being played by a Maharana Pratap Memorial procession taken out by the Thakurs on May 5. Around 60 houses of dalits were burnt down by a violent mob.

“A general environment of fear is being created to force us to leave the village. We are getting open threats that dalits will not be allowed to live here. Our women are being eve-teased on the village roads and when they go out to attend nature’s call,” Suggan, who was part of the group that met the DM and SSP, told The Hindu.

“Thakur men are roaming the village with arms and swords. They are looking for an opportunity to attack us again. We will have no option but to migrate to other villages,” said Suggan, who is in his late sixties. He said most of the youth have left the village fearing arrest.

Members of the Thakur community, however, rejected the allegations. Pawan, a Thakur youth, told The Hindu that the dalits were lying. “First they burnt their own houses to claim compensation,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/saharanpur-dalits-fear-they-will-be-driven-out/article18701017.ece?homepage=true

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