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Chandigarh, Oct 14: Twenty-three people, including a former sarpanch, have been booked for allegedly socially boycotting Scheduled Caste members of Chhatar village in Jind’s Uchana sub-division, police said on Thursday. Some Dalit families from the village alleged that the members of a dominant caste gave a call for their social boycott to build pressure on them to withdraw a case against a member of their community. They said that three weeks ago, some upper caste youths beat up a Dalit youth over some argument related to a Kabbadi match in the village. Police said they arrested a person after filing a case under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the victim’s complaint. The families claimed that the call was given after some upper caste people called a panchayat recently and added that they were not able to get essential items or go to their fields due to the alleged boycott. About 150-200 Dalit families live in the village.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Jitendra Kumar said that on the basis of a complaint, a case was registered against 23 people, including a former sarpanch, under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for allegedly boycotting the Dalits. The DSP said the administration is continuously monitoring the situation in the village to maintain social harmony.

Dinesh, a social worker, has written a complaint to the chief minister and demanded action in the matter. A Dalit youth from the village said that if the social boycott continues they would be compelled to shift somewhere else.

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