On 5th May 2017, an incident of attack on Dalits by the Rajputs occurred in the village Shabbirpur, located near Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. During the attack a youth from the Rajput community died, 13 Dalits were grievously injured, more than 40 Dalit houses were burnt, some of their shops looted and burnt. The incident was widely reported in the media as an incident of caste violence between the Rajputs and the Dalits, where 25 houses of Dalits were set on fire.
A PUDR team conducted a fact finding into the incident on 9th May 2017. The team met
members of the Rajput and the Dalit communities from the village, the village Patwari
(accountant) Nathi Ram, police officials and PAC personnel posted at the village and
police officials at Badgaon police station (PS), local politicians including the ex – MLA of Deoband from Samajwadi Party, Maviya Ali (Shabbirpur is part of the Deoband constituency) and some journalists. While the Dalit basti of the village wore a deserted look with few women and old men around, the Rajput basti appeared physically unaffected.
Given below is our report about the incident, the circumstances under which it hap-
pened, its consequences and the role of the administration. The report is based on our
findings and material from secondary sources.