Eight persons were arrested on Thursday following a clash over the use of a crematorium by members of a Scheduled Caste (SC) community in Chhattisgarh's Janjgir-Champa district, police said.
The accused, which included the village sarpanch (head), allegedly disrupted the cremation which finally took place a day later in police presence, said an official.
Pradip Patle, a resident of Baradwar Basti village who belonged to an SC community, allegedly hanged himself on Wednesday.
As per the complaint filed by his father Bhaiyalal, the family took the body to their traditional cremation ground, but decided to shift to another facility which has a roof as it was raining.
“After the funeral pyre was lit, the sarpanch and a few others who hail from a tribal community arrived and said the crematorium was supposed to be used by only a certain caste. They allegedly kicked the pyre and doused the flames by pouring water. They also allegedly tried to throw off the body," the police official said quoting the complaint.
A video of the incident on social media showed some people trying to douse a burning pyre.
The incident led to a clash between the two groups, the police official said.
A police team soon reached the spot and brought the situation under control, he added.
A section of villagers staged a protest on Thursday and blocked a road demanding the arrest of those who disrupted the cremation.
Eight persons including sarpanch Jagdish Uraon were subsequently arrested under Indian Penal Code sections 147 (rioting) and 297 (trespassing on burial places), the official said.
The cremation finally took place in police presence on Thursday afternoon, he said, adding that further probe was on.