crush three dalits under tractor in Rajasthan
Incident Leads To Exodus Of Minority Community
Hundreds of dalits from Nagaur district's Dangawas and surrounding villages fled for their lives on Friday after the region's dominant upper caste, the Jats, mowed down three dalits under tractors, and grievously wounded a dozen others following the flaring up of a decades' old land dispute.
The Jat violence followed firing by dalits in which one dominant caste member was killed on Thursday . Heavy police was deployed at Dangawas, around 250km from Jaipur, to enable the funeral rites of those killed but no arrest was made despite some horrific crimes committed against dalit women, including their molestation, beating, and repeated attempts to disrobe them.
Many of them are battling severe injuries and are admitted to in different hospitals. The dispute relates to a 20ha farm land claimed by dalit families of Ratnaram Meghwal, Gutaram Meghwal and Khemaram Meghwal, but disputed by the family of Chimnaram Jat.The dispute has been pending in court for years.
Matters reached a head on Thursday when Dangawas's Jats held a panchayat and summoned the Meghwals. The dalit families, fearing that the Jats were assembling to attack them, fired shots at the two men sent to call them.
One Rampal died on spot. The crowd at Jat panchayat then went berserk, attacking the Meghwals, bulldozing their houses, assaulting their women and chasing the fleeing men on tractors.
Ratnaram Meghwal, 65, Pancharam, 60, and Pokaram, 45, were crushed to death while 14 others, including six women, were injured.
On Friday, armed attackers reached the hospital at Merta City and surrounded it to prevent doctors from treating the injured da lits. Police from half-a-dozen police stations had to be called to ensure medical treatment to the injured, some of whom were later shifted to Ajmer.
Dangawas's six dalit women are being treated in Ajmer's JLN hospital alleged that the attackers molested them. Some of them suffered multiple fractures in hands and legs.
A 25-year-old woman wept in the hospital speaking about how the attackers tore off her blouse and tried to strip her on the disputed land. She got 15 stitches on her head. “They tried to rape me and abused me,“ the woman said.
Another woman said, “Four attackers tried to remove my `ghaghra' (skirt) and tried to thrust a stick inside.“ A third woman said, “They pulled me by my hair for about 50 metres, tore off my clothes and hit my legs with ironrods.“ A DSP with a police team is now deployed to secure the injured dalits women.
Kishan Meghwal, the brother of one of the injured women, said, “We identified 13 among the 200 attackers, but the police hasn't acted so far.“ He added, “We've been suffering Jat atrocities for decades.“
Source: The Times of India dt 16-5-15 page No 12( Chennai edition)