Dalit houses burnt in UP village for celebrating Holi
Piyush Srivastava | Lucknow, March 22, 2011 | Updated 10:32 IST
At least nine houses belonging to Dalits were set on fire in Uttar
Pradesh's Pratapgarh district on Sunday, leaving more than two dozen
More than a dozen Dalits have been admitted to SRN Hospital in
Allahabad with serious burn injuries.
The burnings are believed to be the result of a caste war in Kadampur
village, under Hathgawan police station. But the immediate trigger for
the incident was a nine-year-old Dalit boy, who threw coloured water
on some Yadavs, who belong to the OBC category.
The angry Yadavs threw the boy into a canal, but his father Arun Kumar
rescued him. A mob of more than 100 Yadavs then surrounded the Dalit
locality, poured kerosene and set the houses afire.
Circle officer B.S. Rana said six Yadavs had been taken into custody
and an investigation into the incident was on. "It happened around 8
pm on Sunday when a Dalit boy tried to celebrate Holi with the OBCs. A
mob led by Harish Chandra Yadav, Lal Chand Yadav and Rajendra Yadav
then torched his home," Rana said. "Later, more Yadavs arrived and set
eight more Dalit houses ablaze." Sant Lal, one of the injured
villagers, claimed that all the attackers were supporters of
controversial independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh, who is presently
in jail under the Gangster Act.
"They harass us frequently. They are powerful supporters of the MLA,
whose palace in Benti village is only 15 km away from Kadampur," Sant
Lal said. "The boy didn't know the Yadavs would react violently if he
poured colour on them on Holi. They threw the boy into the canal and
then attacked our hamlets on the village outskirts," he added.
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