Tension ran high in two adjacent villages of Mathura district, in Uttar Pradesh, on Tuesday, hours after after the death of a 17-year-old boy, allegedly following assault by relatives of a girl and neighbours for entering her house around midnight.
The deceased was accompanied by a friend, also a minor. The other boy was also assaulted and is recuperating in hospital.
According to police, four people have been arrested so far and nearly two dozen Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel and policemen drawn from local stations have been deployed in both villages to stop any violence. The boy and girl’s families belong to neighbouring villages, and come from different locally dominant castes.
The boy and the girl studied in the same school and were friends, but her family did not approve of their friendship, according to police and neighbours.
While the girl’s family alleges that he then entered her house without permission, apparently scaling the rear wall, the boy’s father told The Indian Express, “We don’t even know if he entered the house or was picked up from somewhere else.”
According to a relative of the girl, who was present at the spot, the victim and his friend arrived on a motorcycle and tried to enter the house from a side that overlooks the farms.
The victim had appeared for Class XII Board examinations and often worked on daily wage contract, his family members said.
The girl comes from a Thakur family, and the boy was a Gurjar. His village is the only Gurjar-dominated one in the area, flanked by four or five villages dominated by people from Thakur community. Even though residents of both villages said there is no antagonism between the communities, police believe the incident could have opened up the possibility of a backlash.
Inputs: The Indian Express