Rajputs stop Dalits from using crematorium, cops save the day
Mhow: Tension gripped a village in Mhow — BR Ambedkar’s birthplace — on Saturday when members of Rajput community stopped a group of Dalits from using the public crematorium.
The incident sparked protests, prompting police to rush to the village in strength and ensure that the funeral was performed without any violence.
The Rajputs and Dalit Balai community faced off in the morning in Memdi village when the Dalits were heading towards the crematorium to perform the final rites of 85-year-old Chogalal Chohan, who had died a few hours earlier.
Before the procession could reach the crematorium, Rajput community head Gabbu Singh Patel, 65, and Roopesh Waghmare, husband of sarpanch Manisha Waghmare (both Congress workers), blocked their way.
Vijay Chohan, a relative of the deceased, told TOI that the family insisted on using the crematorium, but Patel and Waghmare refused to budge, and asked them to perform the last rites at any other place. They also promised to build an “alternate crematorium for Dalits” very soon.
The family and some Dalit youths started an agitation. As the news spread, members of Bheem Sena and other Dalit organizations reached the village and joined the protest.
Realizing the sensitivity of the matter, the administration sent a strong police force to Memdi. The cops intervened and ensured that Chohan’s last rites were conducted in the crematorium.