Clash Over Land Dispute Framed As Atrocity Against Dalit Girl In MP’s Shajapur

Bhopal:  A video has surfaced on social media, where a girl belonging to a Dalit family claimed that a group of upper caste people objected to her going to school and also snatched her school bag.

This incident was reported from a village in Shajapur district, around 150 km from the state capital Bhopal. As the video surfaced on social media, some politically connected locals raised this issue, alleging that “Some people belonging to the upper caste don’t allow a Dalit girl to go to school.”

Later, the matter reached the police and an FIR was registered against some upper caste people. However, when the Shajapur police reached the village, it found that it was a land dispute issue.

During the investigation, the Shajapur police found that some land that was in the possession of a Gurjar family, was exchanged with a Rajput family. The Rajput family had put up a fence around the land.

There was a well on that piece of land and some Dalit families used to fetch water from it. But, due to the fencing of the land, the Dalit families’ entry was restricted.

This led to a scuffle between the Rajput and Dalit families and both side attacked each other with sticks. Nearly half-a-dozen people got injured from both sides.

Some locals saw it as an opportunity to gain political mileage and they hatched a conspiracy to make it an ‘Upper caste Vs Dalit’ issue.” Shajapur district is a Dalit populated area in the Agar-Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh.

Talking to IANS, Superintendent of Police (SP), Shajapur, Jagdeesh Dabar said, “Both sides (Rajput and Dalit) had indulged in a scuffle over the land. Later, some other people also got involved in the matter and they made it a Dalit Vs upper caste issue.”

He informed that three-four people were injured during the clash. A case has been registered against the upper caste people and they have been booked for atrocities against Dalits. “A team under the town inspector has been tasked to investigate the matter. But, the preliminary investigation has revealed that it was a land dispute and not stopping a Dalit girl from going to school,” Dabar added.