Meerut, Aug 9: At least one person was reported dead in the clashes which erupted between Dalit and Rajput communities in Meerut over watching a Kanwaria procession passing by.
Reports claimed that a group of Dalit youths in Uldepur village of Meerut district had went to watch the Kanwaria procession on Thursday. Their attendance angered the local Rajputs which led to an altercation followed by a clash.
Although intervention by elders ensured the matter was initially settled, a group of offended Dalits rushed to the neighbouring Sikhera village, dominated by the Rajputs.
In the clashes which followed, one Dalit youth was killed and three others severely injured. The deceased was identified as 19-year-old Rohith.
The bereaved kin, along with local Dalit youths, staged a demonstration at the Ambedkar crossing. Rohith's corpse was kept on the road with the kin claiming that they would perform the last rites only after the accused are arrested.
Sensing trouble, the police swiftly a registered a case of murder and nabbed three Rajput youths, whose identities were yet to be confirmed.
The Sikhera village, where the fatal clashes erupted, has witnessed escalating tensions between the Dalits and Rajputs over the past decade, ever since the former government led by Mayawati installed a statue of BR Ambedkar.
Meanwhile, another clash was reported between the two communities in the Kasar village, where a Dalit youth allegedly attempted to molest a Rajput girl. Subsequent to the alleged incident, the latter community members attacked local Dalits and hurled verbal abuses.
Security has been escalated in Meerut following the recent clashes. The police has appealed the local populace to refrain from reacting to rumours. SP (rural) Rajesh Kumar is camping in Kasar village to keep the situation under control.