Dalit-Muslim clashes in Pilibhit after casteist slurs thrown in petty fight

In yet another example of a petty fight turning into a communal clash, groups of Dalits and Muslims attacked each other with stones and sticks after an altercation between some youths at a local shop spiralled into tensions between the communities.

The incident happened on Saturday night in Kalinagar area of Madhotanda police station, which is situated in the Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh. According to reports, a person named Kamil Raza and his friends had gone to buy some eggs from the shop of a certain Naseem, where they picked up a fight with another person named Sunil.

The personal fight, apparently over rate of eggs, became serious after Kamil and his friends reportedly threw casteist slurs and abuses at Sunil and his friends, who belong to Paswan caste from the Dalit community.

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This soon turned into a physical fight at the shop itself, though the youths then went back to their homes after the quarrel. However, they soon returned along with mobs from their respective communities and a pitched battle took place as mobs targeted houses in the region. Both groups are accusing each other of starting the fight.

Apart from injuries, the clashes led to damages to the shop and respective houses of people from both the communities. Police forces had to be called in and deployed in the area to stop the clashes from getting worse and bloody, as mob reportedly swelled in numbers.

Over 100 people have been reportedly booked for the violence and under the Prevention of Atrocities (against SC/ST) act, though most of them are unnamed except Kamil, Sunil and their friends.

The police took help of respected and senior people from the region to douse flared passions. The current situation is under control and no fresh violence has been reported from the area.

However, some are blaming the police for acting late and even acting in a partisan manner. The police allegedly took more time to file cases on behalf of Dalits and did so only on Sunday, while cases following the complaint by Muslims were registered on Saturday night itself.

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