DHARWAD : Clashes broke out between two communities at Sangameshwar village in Kalaghatagi taluk of Dharwad district on Friday over a religious issue.
One person was severely injured and is recovering. The situation was brought under control by police.
Police said a dalit family refusing to perform pooja to village deity Maremma during the festival that was conducted after a gap of 26 years on Friday led to the group clash.
Villagers said as part of the fair, the idol of goddess Maremma was taken on a palanquin by devotees through the village streets. When they reached near the house of Vishnu Madar, the devotees said they felt that the “palanquin was moving towards Madar’s house.”
When the villagers asked Madar to perform pooja to the deity, he refused to do so. This led to a verbal altercation between the groups which ultimately turned into a clash.
Madar and others were beaten up and Manjunath Madar was severely injured. Police arrived at the spot and brought the situation under control. Manjunath was rushed to a nearby hospital and later shifted to KIMS Hospital in Hubballi.
Madar’s father used to earlier perform pooja to the village deity. But he put an end to the practice in 2004 as he did not have enough income. His family later moved out of the village. But the villagers brought them back to the village, ensuring that they would not be forced to conduct pooja.
Vishnu Madar said: “When we returned, we stayed away from religious matters. A few youths, who kept this in mind, attacked us during the fair and destroyed the shops belonging to lower caste people.”
Kalagatagi police have registered a case of atrocity against four people.