Bihar Mahadalits unwilling to return to their homes

Nearly 300 Mahadalit families who fled their village after being threatened by upper caste men refused to return to their homes Saturday despite assurance of security and action against the perpetrators by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

Patna: Nearly 300 Mahadalit families who fled their village after being threatened by upper caste men refused to return to their homes Saturday despite assurance of security and action against the perpetrators by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

"Terrified Mahadalits are reluctant to return to their homes, fearing that powerful upper caste men would attack and harm them," a district police official said.

Under tremendous pressure from the chief minister to ensure that Mahadalits return to their homes in Pura village, top district officials, including district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agrawal and senior superintendent of police Nishant Kumar Tiwari, have been trying hard since Thursday to convince them to return to their homes.

"We are trying to convince them to return to their homes from the temporary relief camp. But citing serious threat to their life they refused to return," another district official camping at Tekari, told IANS over telephone.

Meanwhile, four of the six accused in the case who were arrested Friday were produced in Gaya district court Saturday which sent them to 14-day judicial custody.

Nearly 300 Mahadalits fled Pura village Thursday after they were allegedly threatened by upper caste residents.

They were camping in the block office in Tekari over the killing of a Mahadalit, who had filed his nomination for an election, police said.

According to police, Arjun Manjhi was killed last week after he filed nomination papers for the election to the post of president of the primary agriculture cooperative society.

Chief Minister Manjhi has instructed the police to file charge sheet in the case within seven days.

Manjhi also announced that Pura village will be developed as a model village.  

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