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Miscreants torch 15 Dalit houses in Akola
September 05, 2005 02:13 IST
Tension prevailed in Belkhed village in Telhara tehsil of Akola district in Vidarbha after 15 houses belonging to Dalits were set afire when violence broke out during the celebration of Pola late on Saturday evening.
The violence left 19 persons injured, some of them seriously.
The incident, close on the heels of the Gohana incident in which 30 houses of Dalits were burnt down recently, has sent shock waves in the entire region.
The police had to use force to disperse the mob and restore order. The situation in the village is now said to be tense but under control.
Trouble erupted after one group, celebrating the traditional Pola festival, took their bullocks into a temple.
Another group objected to the action, leading to a verbal clash. The hot exchange led to fisticuffs and soon escalated into a violent clash.
A mob indulged in heavy stone pelting and later set fire to 15 huts reportedly belonging to Dalits. They also stoned a police vehicle.
The police had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse the mob. Fire fighters from Akola had to rush to the village to extinguish the blaze.
Additional police force has been deployed in the town. The police have booked 23 people in this connection.
According to sources, tension had prevailed in the village after the authorities removed some encroachments in the temple where the trouble began. Saturday's violence was actually a fall-out of that action, the sources said.
A group clash was also reported from Chandur near Akola during the celebrations last evening. Three persons were injured in the violence.
(Central Indian News Service)