Gwalior, Feb 4 (IANS) Provocative disruption of a Dalit familys wedding by upper caste students of a hostel on Monday night has led to tension in Gwalior with ‘Safai Karmis’ (cleaning staff) striking work on Tuesday.
The city police have registered a case of assault and robbery under the SC-SC Act. A case of molestation was also launched against the students who allegedly assaulted the wedding party. The students are also alleged to have pelted stones at vehicles and the wedding pavilion.
However, the police have not been able to arrest any of the students who live in a hostel next to the wedding venue. A force has been deployed in the Jayendraganj locality, the flashpoint of Monday’s violence.
The bride’s father, Sitaram Khare, said his daughter got married to Deep Karosia, son of Virendra Karosia, at the Maratha Boarding Marriage Home in Jayendraganj on Monday night.
While dinner was being served, the students in the neighbouring Rajput hostel started throwing water and stones at the guests. When people protested, 30-35 students came with sticks and started beating up Deep and his father.
The students went on a rampage smashing vehicles, breaking up articles at the venue and molesting women and minor girls. People called the police but before they reached the spot, the hooligans had disappeared.
City sweepers went on a strike on Tuesday and staged a protest at Ambedkar Udyan in Phulbagh. The administration deployed additional police force in Jayendraganj area as precaution and registered a case against the accused under various sections of IPC at the Inderganj police station.
City Superintendent of Police, Rajat Saklecha of Inderganj area, said that ‘cases have been registered against nearly 25 people and two students — Veer Tomar and Annu Tomar — have been named in the FIR. Some other culprits have also been identified through the CCTV footage, the police said.
SDM Anil Banwaria said, “The culprits have been booked under stiff provisions of the law and the police are searching for them.”
District President of Gwalior Safai Karmi Sangh, Jayaramdas, said that he and his associates have staged a sit-in at Ambedkar Udyan to press for the arrest of the accused.
The state government, along with the police and the administration, should act immediately in the matter, otherwise they will be forced to hit the street and launch a bigger agitation, he said.
The region is prone to such attacks against Dalits. Successive governments have failed to check the atrocities in trying to strike a balance between the upper caste and Dalit votes.