Dalits in Rajasthan Town Want to Embrace Islam After Bharat Bandh
Members of the Dalit community raise slogans during Bharat Bandh against the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act in New Delhi, on 2 April 2018.
Members of the Dalit community raise slogans during Bharat Bandh against the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act in New Delhi, on 2 April 2018.(Photo: ANI)

Dalits in Rajasthan Town Want to Embrace Islam After Bharat Bandh

As mobs attacked members of Jatav Basti, home to several Scheduled Caste families in Rajasthan’s Hindaun city on account of Bharat Bandh, angry men vowed to “convert to Islam” if similar incidents continue, The Indian Express reported on 5 April.

Ashwini Jatav, a local told The Indian Express that an alleged upper caste mob “checked their identity cards to ensure they were Dalits before attacking them.” Jatav said the attackers allegedly belonged to Hindu fundamentalist groups. The police, however, deny their claims, stating that the attack was motivated by “anti-Jatav sentiment.”

Chandramohan Jatav, 40, a resident of the Jatav settlement said, “We are anyway not counted as Hindus. We are still ignored.”

Dalits were beaten up near Station Road, the main road in the city. According to the report, other members claimed that “anti-social” elements carried out the attack.

Also Read : Dalit Groups Let Their Powers Combine, but Where Are They Headed?

‘Anti-Jatav Sentiment’ Provoked Attack: Police

NRK Reddy, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, however, told The Indian Express that there is no “clear indication of the involvement of Hindu fundamentalist groups.” The mob proceeding towards the Jatav settlement had been dispersed by the crowd, he added.

Preliminary investigation suggests there was an anti-Jatav sentiment among other castes who also accused the Jatav community of molesting a few women during Bharat Bandh.
NRK Reddy, Additional Director General of Police

After protests were provoked by Bharat Bandh on 2 April, a mob had attacked houses of two Dalit politicians — Rajkumari Jatav, the BJP MLA from Hindaun, and the Congress’s Bharosi Lal Jatav.

Also Read : Bharat Bandh: 9 Dead as Dalit Outfits Protest SC/ST Ruling

During the clashes, arson and mayhem gripped Hindaun. Army personnel patrolled streets and curfew was imposed for the major part of the day. The situation is under control now, Karauli District Collector Abhimanyu Kumar told the daily.

However, relatives of more than 40 people accused of inciting violence insist that their kin are innocent and should be set free, the report said.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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