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14 injured in Dalit settlement attack

Fourteen persons were injured when a mob of the so-called upper caste people attack ed a Dalit settlement at Bhingdabar in Pipariya Dostiya-8 on Friday night. The assailants thrashed the locals and vandalised the houses. The injured are undergoing treatment at Gaur Hospital and the Garuda-based Anamika Hospital. The victims claimed the unruly mob also went on a looting spree in the settlement. “The mob barged into the settlement and attack ed us indiscriminately. They entered our houses and vandalised goods and destroyed food grains,” said Guru Dayal Ram who sustained injuries in the incident. The victims said the assailants uprooted a water tap. Bipin Gautam, a rights activist, said 65 houses in the settlement were vandalised in the incident. As panic gripped the residents after the incident, some Dalit youths reportedly fled the village fearing further attack s. The Friday’s incident follows a month-long dispute over the Dalit ’s entry in a local temple. They beat up the Dalit s on May 14 as the latter entered Bramhasthan Bhagawati Temple and worshipped the deity. “They attack ed the settlement in revenge as we lodged a complaint with the police demanding action,” said Jitani Devi Ram, an injured elderly woman. She said the assailants did not spare even the women and the elderly. Dharmendra Pasawan, a Dalit rights activist, said the so-called upper caste people exerted pressure to the victims to withdraw the case. They attack ed the settlement for ignoring their threats, he added. Superintendent of Police Govinda Pariyar said Chhotelal Yadav and Ram Dev Yadav were arrested in connection with the incident.