Tension prevailed in interior villages in Telangana's Macherial district, as the conflict between the Gond adivasis and Lambada Banjaras surfaced yet again on Tuesday.
Adivasis allegedly torched a kirana shop at Kothapeta, after a tribal person was allegedly attacked and injured by Lambadas the previous night.
The adivasis alleged that a group of suspected Lambada farmers, beat up 30-year-old Sidam Bheem Rao, following a dispute.
As news of the incident spread in the Agency areas of Adilabad district, adivasis began grouping together, following which contingents of the Rapid Action Force were deployed to control the situation.
Tension had been building up in some parts of the state over last few days in the wake of demand by Adivasis to remove Lambadas from the list of Scheduled Tribes.
Addressing media persons, Mancherial DCP MS Venugopal Rao appealed to both sides, and asked them to maintain calm, so that peace could prevail.
Meanwhile, speaking in Hyderabad, CPI (M) Telangana State Secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram accused the TRS government of not addressing the rift between the two communities.
â€œThe TRS leaders are acting like adding fuel to fire, to further deepen the differences between the two warring communities. The state government is doing nothing and is being irresponsible, which will send danger signals to further escalate the differences between the two groups," he warned.
The Gond community is one of adivasis, originally believed to have spread from central India to parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. They have a sizable population and a long history of settlement in Telangana. The Gonds primarily speak Dravidian languages.
The Banjara Lambada community is originally from Rajasthan but are now spread across the Indian subcontinent. While they are listed as Backward Class (BC) or Other Backward Class (OBC) in some states, they are listed as Scheduled Caste (SC) or ST in other states.
The Gonds have been pointing out that the Lambadas were included in the ST list only in 1976 in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, and have dubbed it a 'backdoor entry'.