Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Communal riots in Rajasthan force Dalits to migrate


Communal riots in Rajasthan force Dalits to migrate
The Milli Gazette
Published Online: Mar 22, 2011
Print Issue: 1-15 March 2011

Husheypur (Rajasthan): Communal riots between Muslim and Dalits in
this village of Alwar district of Rajasthan resulted in large scale
exodus of Dalits to other places. The origin of this unfortunate
situation started on 19 January when a resident of this village, Zahid
Khan, was shot dead by a group of Dalits because a hen was crushed to
death by his tractor.

A fight between his relatives and some Dalits resulted in large scale
communal riots between people of the two communities who had been
living together peacefully for several decades. Muslims of the village
attacked and set on fire homes of many Dalits. Out of fear, people of
Dalit community fled to other places for safety. After more than two
weeks, only elderly women and small children returned to their
destroyed homes but menfolk still remained out of the village as
tension prevailed everywhere.

S.P. of Alwar Mahesh Goyal said that a committee including members of
all communities was formed to resolve the tension and dispute and
police is in touch with members of the Dalit community who are living
at different places. The SP said that security has been provided to
the people of Dalit community but those involved in shooting down of
Zahid Khan are missing. It is not known how many were injured and
arrested but, as always happens, sufferers are people of both

Whereas Zahid Khan's father Haji Kallu says that everyone, from
government officers to social activists who come here ask us to
maintain peace. 'We want peace but how will I bring up my five
grandchildren and other members of the family.' He further says that
government gave ex-gratia to those whose houses were ransacked 'but no
one asked me if I too need anything.' From the other side, Kamla Devi
says that 'we were never a part of the violence but we also were
targeted.' She says that they looted cash and jewellery she had saved
for her daughter Suman's marriage in May but now she feels helpless.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March
2011 on page no. 7


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