One person was shot dead and four injured — two critically — on Wednesday night in Dadri, leading to caste-based clashes that continued till Thursday afternoon. Vehicles were torched and damaged and stones were pelted, resulting in minor injuries for several policemen.
Police said the Wednesday night stand-off between two families — Brahmin and Gujjar — was the fallout of a girl being harassed.
Though the situation had been brought under control, police said a battalion of the PAC and additional police force had been deployed in the area. Three persons have been arrested.
Residents of Brahmpuri Mohalla said tension was simmering from Tuesday, when the case of the alleged harassment first came to light.
“We have had a tense situation for some time now. The area is Gujjar dominated, but the chairman is Brahmin. Three days ago, a Gujjar man called Gagan teased the daughter of a local farmer, Moolchand Sharma (a Brahmin). Though Moolchand checked Gagan, he did not stop harassing the girl. On Thursday, around 4 pm, Gagan again passed some comment at the girl, to which Moolchand reacted and a fight broke out. This prompted Moolchand to go to the local kotwali to file a complaint,” Sudeep Tyagi, a resident, said.
Moolchand’s relative Prem Pal Sharma said: “It was after two hours at the police station that they agreed to accept our complaint. Around 8 pm, Gagan and his friends came to our house and there was another fight. They first fired in the air and then shot at three of our family members.”
Police confirmed that Ravinder Sharma (20) died on way to Kailash Hospital in Greater Noida and brothers Deepak and Bunty admitted in the hospital. Their condition is said to be critical.
Pawan and Anand Sharma suffered fragment injuries.
Following this, police said, a mob from Brahmin community hurled stones at the homes of Gagan and his friends. They also blocked traffic on GT Road till 2 am on Thursday.
“Around 6 am, police went to the houses of the accused to arrest them. A large crowd had gathered and began pelting stones again. A gunshot was fired from the mohalla where Gagan and his friends live. This enraged the crowd, which went on a rampage. There were more clashes at the time when two persons where arrested. Situation remained tense till Ravinder’s body was brought home,” a police officer said.
Superintendent of Police (Rural) Ashok Kumar said: “Ashok and Arun have been arrested for murder. Gagan has been arrested under IPC Sections 294 (obscene acts and songs), 352 (assault), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon). Three other persons — Bhilu, Pramod and Yogesh — are yet to be apprehended.”