Land Dispute Turns into Caste Violence in Rajasthan's Nagaur; 4 Dead, 13 Injured

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Vehicles set on fire during the caste violence that broke out in Rajasthan's Nagaur District.

Jaipur:  A decades-old land dispute in the Dangawas Village of Rajasthan's Nagaur District descended into caste violence on Thursday, leaving four people dead and 13 injured. One person has been arrested so far in connection with the violence.

The land dispute was between two families - one from the OBC Jat community and the other from the Dalit Neghwal community - over 25 bighas (about 15 acres) of land. The dispute dates back to 1963 and has been in court since 1983. Members of the Jat community had called for a meeting to figure out a solution. But the Neghwals had been reluctant to take part out of apprehensions that they would be forced to accept a settlement.

The Jats at the meeting sent two men to call the Neghwals to the meeting. An altercation broke out between them, and the Neghwals allegedly opened fire, killing one of the Jats, Rampal, and injuring the other.

The Jats retaliated by going on a rampage, allegedly crushing three Neghwals to death under a tractor. A total of 13 people have been injured in the violence.

Police are now investigating FIRs that have been registered by both sides. While the FIR filed by the Neghwals names 13 people, the one filed by Rampal's family blames 19 for his death.

Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Katariya in the meantime sparked controversy by saying the government doesn't have a "magic wand" to arrest the culprits immediately. But he clarified that the culprits will not be allowed to get away. One person, Shankar Jat, has been arrested. Cremations of those killed were carried out under police protection.

"We are afraid to go back to our village. There is an atmosphere of terror there now," said Ramniwas, a member of the Neghwal community who was injured in the attack by the Jats. Most of the injured are presently receiving treatment in Ajmer.
 

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