‘Jis jaati ke ho…’: 2 teachers booked after Dalit student dies by suicide in Rajasthan
Student had called father to complain that the two teachers were humiliating him and also hurling casteist slurs.
Written by Hamza Khan
The Rajasthan Police have lodged an FIR against two school teachers for murder after a Class 10 Dalit student allegedly died by suicide in Rajasthan’s Kotputali-Behror district.
As per the FIR, Satyapal Kuldeep, 50, said that his younger brother Banwarilal’s son Sachin Kuldeep, a student at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Paota, had called his father on the night of August 22.
Satyapal said that over the call, a sobbing Sachin had told him that “Vivek sir and Rajkumar sir” have been hurling casteist slurs and humiliating him before his classmates for the past several days. Sachin said he complained to the principal and the vice-principal but the principal said, “Jis jaati ke ho us jaati ke rahoge, ismein galat kya hai (You’ll remain in the caste you belong to. What is wrong in it?)”
A few hours after the call, Sachin, who stayed in the school hostel, allegedly hanged himself in the classroom. In the morning, the cleaning staff saw his body hanging by the neck from a fan of ’10B’ classroom.
The family has alleged that the school authorities did not even inform them about the incident but that it was the police, who called them around 8 am, and asked them to reach the school at the earliest.
“We reached the school around 10 am and inquired about Sachin with the principal and the vice-principal but they didn’t give a satisfactory response. It was only an hour after we reached that we were informed by the school staff that Sachin was ‘unwell’ and had been admitted to Paota hospital,” Satyapal said.
Paota tehsil – where the school is located – now comes under the newly carved Kotputali-Behror district and the family lives in Hanutpura village of Jaipur’s Shahpura tehsil.
The school’s principal, Ajay Agrawal, did not respond to calls.
Satyapal said that in the school, Sachin’s classmates told them that on the evening (of August 22) he was humiliated and mentally and physically punished by the two teachers. “They used to threaten him with poor marks in examinations and sessional (exams) and spoiling his future,” Satyapal alleged.
In a purported video from the school, about half a dozen Class XII boys say that they had spotted Sachin Kuldeep and Dilkush – both from Class X – at the school grounds with teachers Rajkumar and Vivek on the evening of August 22.
“Sachin was saying that he accepts his mistake but he was also insisting that sir should also accept his mistake of hurling casteist slurs. Sir then asked him what the abuse was. Sachin quoted the abuse and then sir repeated the abuse thrice and threatened him,” one of the boys says in the video.
“Rajkumar sir then slapped him twice and again hurled casteist slurs at him, and dared him to do whatever he could. Sachin later skipped his meal but instead of asking him to eat, sir scolded him again,” a boy says.
“They had an exam the next day and Vivek and Dilkush were studying together but instead of studying, Sachin kept talking about what had happened between him and Vivek sir. Around 1:30 (am) Dilkush left for Udaigiri House and when asked, Sachin said he was going to Aravalli House and said that Vivek sir ab mera kuch nahi bigad sakte (Vivek sir can’t do anything to me now),” the boy says, adding that Sachin eventually did not go to any of the four school Houses and they got to know about his death later in the morning.
The family also claims that the circumstances surrounding his suicide are suspicious as his legs were touching the floor and were, in fact, so low that “they were bent at an angle of about 30 degrees.”
The FIR was lodged at Paragpura police station late on August 23 under IPC sections 302 (murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) as well as the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the two teachers.
The family had initially refused to accept the body and made several demands before the district administration but reached an agreement on Friday and conducted the last rites. Talking to The Indian Express, Satyapal confirmed, “We have reached an agreement with the administration.”
Roshan Mundotiya, a local activist supporting the family, said that the two teachers — Vivek Yadav and Rajkumar Yadav — have been suspended. “Sachin’s father Banwarilal is a labourer and apart from Sachin, he has two daughters and another son,” Roshan said.
Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for the district, IPS Ranjeeta Sharma, said that an agreement was reached with the family on Friday, following which the family cremated the body. “Compensation will be given to the family as per the provisions of the SC/ST Act and school administration will try for a contract based employment for the kin of the child,” Sharma said.
“We have assured them of a fair and prompt investigation, and have appointed a Deputy SP rank officer as the Investigating Officer in the case,” she said, adding that the post mortem has also been conducted and the report is awaited.
Courtesy : TIE
Note: This news piece was originally published in theindianexpress.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Right