MP: 7 Arrested in Clash After Dalit Girl Told Not to Attend School

Shajapur: A group of locals allegedly told a 16-year-old Dalit girl not to attend school on grounds that other girls were also not studying, in a village in Madhya Pradesh, a police official said on Wednesday, July 27.

Police have arrested seven persons in connection with the incident which took place on Saturday, July 23, after a clash broke out between families of the girl and the accused in Bawaliyakhedi village, leaving some people injured, he said.

The girl issued a video in which she alleged the accused snatched her school bag and objected to her attending classes. She alleged the accused assaulted her brother when he objected to their comments and also beat up other family members.

The incident took when the minor girl of a Scheduled Caste community was going home after attending a local school on Saturday afternoon, Kotwali police station in-charge Avdhesh Kumar Shesha said on Tuesday, quoting a complaint.

Some persons allegedly accosted and snatched the girl’s school bag and told her not to attend school as other girls of the village were not doing so, he said.

Later, a clash erupted between the girl’s family and relatives of the accused, he said.

Also read: UP: Case Against Two Teachers for Allegedly Forcing Dalit Girls to Remove School Uniforms

Following the complaint, the police arrested seven people on Monday under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the official said.

A cross-complaint by the other side, alleging assault, was also registered against the girl’s brother and three others, he said.

Those injured in the clash were being treated in the district hospital, the official said, but did not give their exact number.

According to the Times of India, the incident came to light when a video of the clash went viral on social media. Lathi-wielding men are seen in the video attacking the girl’s family and hurling abuses at them.

In the first information report (FIR), the girl said that 4 youths had accosted her when she was returning home. “When my cousin intervened, they beat him up. Around 15-20 minutes later, family members of the youths attacked my family,” she said in her complaint.

District officers, however, have denied that the violence stemmed from casteism or that it was related to the girl attending school.

“A probe conducted by the local tehsildar revealed that the attack was the result of an old enmity. There is no issue of caste or dominance by any community. Girls are not being stopped from going to school,” district collector Dinesh Jain said.

(With PTI inputs)

Featured image: Video screengrab of the clash between the two families. Photo: Twitter

This article was first published on The Wire.