<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Inderpal, 53, doesn’t want to go back to Shabbirpur, the epicentre of ongoing tension between Dalits and Rajputs that dots the rural landscape of southern Saharanpur.”They (Rajputs) won’t let me live. The Rajput boys of my village had launched a murderous attack on me and I know them well — Bablu, son of Dhoom Singh, his brother Popi, Brijesh, son of Bhopal Mukhia, Hari Om, son of Yashpal, and two school-going kids, Tunnu and Subhash,” says Inderpal, lying on his bed in the trauma centre of Saharanpur’s district civil hospital.Inderpal was attacked with axes and rods on Tuesday evening when he was coming back to his side of the village to watch Mayawati’s rally after watering sugarcane crops in fields that lie beyond the basti of Rajputs and Jheevars in Shabbirpur. He is being treated for deep gashes on his head and fractured hands.”I was still in the fields when my friends asked me to come and see the rally at around 5 pm. I told them I’ll come a little later and catch up with them through a shorter route that goes through the basti,” Inderpal says.On his way back, when Inderpal entered the Rajput area after crossing the houses of Jheevars, a few youths caught him. They wanted revenge for a May 5 incident in which Sumit, a Rajput youth of nearby Rasoolpur village, was killed following clashes between the two communities over a procession of Maharana Pratap’s birth centenary.”I pleaded with them to not harm me as I, being an old person, was in no way involved in the incident. But they did not listen,” Inderpal says.”My days are over in Shabbirpur now. When our village head, who is an affluent Dalit with 70 bighas of farming land, fears for his life and is absconding, how can I stand up against them (Rajputs)?” he adds.

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Left shaken after thrashing, UP Dalit too scared to return home