One killed, houses torched after clash in Saharanpur
In the second incident of violence in Saharanpur within a fortnight, one person was on Friday killed and at least 15 others, including a police officer, were injured as members of two castes clashed over loud music being played during a procession.
Around 20-25 youths of upper caste Thakur community from Shabbirpur village were on their way to Simlana village under Badgaon police station to take part in a function to garland the statue of Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap, when the Dalit locals objected to the loud music being played by them. A police report sent to the state headquarters here said the Dalits objected to the "raucous" celebration, triggering an exchange of words.
It soon snowballed into a full-blown clash with both the groups throwing stones and bricks at each other, it added.
The Dalits asked the processionists to turn off the music blaring out of loudspeakers as they passed by a Ravidas temple. A police team, which rushed to the spot, managed to pacify the Thakur youths and asked them to return to their village, but they soon returned with more people and indulged in brickbatting and arson, torching 15 to 20 Dalit houses as well as vehicles including those of police.
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