After Dalits’ conversion threat, officials ask villagers to observe Ravidas Jayanti peacefully
Bijnor: A day after hundreds of Dalits threatened to convert to Christianity after they were denied permission to re-start Sant Ravidas Jayanti Yatra, senior officials, including district magistrate (DM) Ramakant Pandey and superintendent of police (SP) Sanjeev Tyagi, rushed to Shyamiwala village and asked them to observe the procession peacefully. Shyamiwala has 30% Hindu population, which houses close to 200 Dalit families. Notably, the Dalit community has claimed that the procession was stopped during the previous SP government.
Talking to TOI, Pandey said, “We had a meeting with villagers at Shyamiwala on Saturday. We have asked all the villagers to observe Sant Ravidas Jayanti peacefully. If anyone tries to spoil the peace, strict action will be taken against him.”
On being asked about the procession scheduled for February 9, the DM said, “We have taken stock of the situation here, which has been found normal. We are mulling over the issue. It will be decided by late-night whether the procession will be carried out or not in the village. ” However, a press note released by the police department indicated that the procession may be taken out.
“A meeting was held here at Shyamiwala village to carry out the procession peacefully,” the press note said. However, apprehensions and speculations over Sant Ravidas Shobha Yatra continued. According to a villager, Sanjeev Kumar, “The DM and the SP came here and held a meeting. They asked us to celebrate the festival peacefully. But, they did not make it clear whether the permission has been given to take out the procession or not.”
It is notable that on Friday also a meeting was held here atcollectorate and dalits of the same village had handed a memorandum to administration and threatened that if procession is not allowed in the village, hundreds of dalit will embrace Christianity.”
Courtesy : TNN