Damoh: A Dalit man and his parents were allegedly shot dead allegedly by neighbours who had accused him of harassing the wife of one of the attackers, the police said. The incident took place in Devran village of Damoh district, Madhya Pradesh, police said today.

According to the police, there was an argument between the two families over this issue. However, the matter was resolved after the intervention of some villagers.

The next morning, in a fit of rage, accused Jagdish Patel, along with five other members of his family, again went to Manak Ahirwar’s house, officials said.

A heated argument broke out and armed men opened fire on 30-year-old Manak, his parents and his younger brother. Manak and the elderly couple died on the spot, while brother Mahesh Ahirwar is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Damoh Superintendent of Police D R Teniwar said Jagdish Patel has been detained and a hunt is on for the other five accused, who are absconding.

Teniwar said, “The entire incident allegedly took place over the harassment of a woman from the Patel family. Based on a complaint by Mahesh Ahirwar, a case has been registered under provisions of the stringent law to punish offences against murder, attempt to murder and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.”

The incident has triggered protests in the area over the safety of Dalits in Madhya Pradesh. State Congress chief Kamal Nath said a high-level inquiry should be initiated into the killing of the Dalit man and his parents.

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati also demanded strict action against the accused.

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