Several injured in caste clashes

December 22, 2008
JAIPUR: Ramkaran Sharma has been admitted to SMS hospital, his 26-year old son lays on the bed adjacent to him, they were seriously hurt when a mob armed with sharp weapons and sticks attacked Lasadia village of Bassi. In the incident nearly a dozen people were reportedly injured and two women were referred to intensive care unit.

According to the eyewitnesses, on Sunday around 200 miscreants from a community selectively targeted villages of particular caste, the issue is being assumed as a spillover of the ongoing conflict among two ST communities after the recent elections.

The victims though belong to a non ST caste they alleged that the assailants were disgusted with victory of Dhanka candidate from the area and threatened the other caste members to vacate the area.

¶The assailants said that having voted for Dhanka candidate, we have lost right to live in the area. They arrived in large numbers and started uprooting the fencing of our farms and destroying our property¶ says Ramkaran.

¶They attacked everyone to come in their sight and didn’t even spare women and children I was hit with a sharp weapon and the head, my son was beaten with stick while two women were badly thrashed with stones.¶

Situation in the Bassi constituency has been tense ever since a Dhanka candidate was elected from area. Dhankas though hold a minor population in the area, it is being assumed that it was the lobbying of most of the castes that influenced the election results.

Being a ST seat, the constituency was traditionally held by Meena’ candidates and the recently elected Dhanka candidate was even came under allegations of having contested the election on false caste certificate. The caste hatred in the area has been increasing ever since and has been exaggerated by the recent incident.

¶When we took the patients to the nearby hospital the doctor belonging to the opponent caste declined to provide treatment. The police officials belonging to the caste also suppress us but this has only strengthened us to vote against them in future¶ said relative of a victim.

Though the administration has not acknowledged it to be an incident of caste conflict and appeared to be trying to hush the matter. The assailants have reportedly also threatened residents of a nearby village on Saturday night and had been troubling people force closing the market in the area since Sunday morning. Yet the police failed to take action against the miscreants and avert the clash, even when the incident occurred in afternoon the statement of victims were not recorded till late evening.

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