Dalit group members try to damage Rajkot stadium pitch

Ahmedabad : At least four members of the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasangh on Friday tried to damage Khanderi Cricket Stadium pitch in Rajkot to protest holding of IPL matches in view of severe water crisis in the city and the entire Saurashtra region.

Police said the members of the Dalit organisation entered the cricket stadium, owned by Saurashtra Cricket Association, with an intention to damage the pitch. They were, however, immediately spotted by the officials and they were ousted from the ground.

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The officials later called in the police which deployed a team of State Reserve Police to guard the stadium. Though no arrests were made, the security in the area has been tightened.

The incident occurred in the wake of former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and president of the Mahasangh Siddharth Parmar staging a demonstration and 48-hour fast outside the SCA Stadium to protest against the tournament being held in Rajkot.

It was staged to highlight the drought-like situation prevailing in the region.

The Mahasangh wants the matches shifted to venue outside Gujarat and SCA to adopt villages affected by water scarcity or supply water to these villages using the SCA pump.

The SCA, on its part, claims that they were not being supplied water from the local municipal sources but had made its own water arrangements for the stadium.