Dalit Houses Vandalised in Police Raid in Azamgarh Village


Indian Express photo

The “vandalisation” of homes came in the wake of a row over a Dalit girl meeting a Bengali youth named Littan Biswas.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Uttar Pradesh police have allegedly vandalised the houses of some Dalit families in Palia village near Azamgarh in a night raid to arrest one Munna Paswan. The family has alleged police also beat the inmates. The police has, however, denied the allegations saying that the families had damaged their own homes to pressure the police not to arrest Munna.

According to the Indian Express, the wreckage of the damaged houses lay strewn all around even after a week has passed. Along with demolished walls, household items and appliances lay strewn around, just the way they were a week ago, said the Express report on July 8. The house of Munna’s uncle Rajpath Paswan was also vandalised in the alleged raid.

The “vandalisation” of homes came in the wake of a row over a Dalit girl meeting a Bengali youth named Littan Biswas. Sunita Devi, the sister-in-law of Munna Paswan, said that he wanted to resolve the matter after two teenagers from the family had decided to thrash Biswa for meeting the Dalit girl.

“Two constables misbehaved with Munna and hit him on the nose and he started bleeding, after which the locals thrashed one of the policemen. Our family members were not the ones who thrashed the constable,” claimed Sunita, as per the Express report. “The police did not spare the women in the house. They came around 8.30-9 pm on the day when the row erupted. They disconnected the power supply in the village. The men from the house fled when they heard that the cops were coming. They had brought bulldozers with them.”

The police raid sparked fear among the villagers, some of whom fled from their homes to get away from being arrested. “I stayed in the fields for four days and returned only after political leaders started the protest,” said Shiv Chandra Paswan, 60, a neighbour of the village head.

Nineteen-year-old Priyanka, daughter of Rajpath, alleged that police did not spare anyone while they destroyed the houses using bulldozers. “They even took away my phone because I was recording videos. The policemen used casteist slurs and beat us up,’ she alleged.

The protest from the villagers over the police action led to the sub district magistrate (SDM) ordering a probe. “The Station Officer of Raunapar police station was attached to the police lines Tuesday night,” SDM (Sagdi area) Gaurav Kumar was quoted in Express as saying. “The family had demanded removal of the local inspector, which has been done. Also, their demand for a probe has also been fulfilled.”

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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