Violence against Dalits refuses to curb, the families of the victims protest
Unrelenting violence against Dalits continues as justice remains difficult, highlights urgent need for change
The relentless tide of atrocities against Dalits in India continues to rise, shedding light on the grim reality that even those who appear to engage with a semblance of humanity can become victims of violence and murder. In the number of cases of violence against Dalits, another case from Uttar Pradesh highlights how regarding Dalits as human can also be a crime. A 14-year-old boy allegedly took the life of his 15-year-old sister using an axe, according to the Indian Express. The motive behind this shocking act was her alleged interaction with a Dalit youth over the phone. This incident that unfolded on 25th August in a village in Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh, and thus serves as a stark reminder of the persistent brutality faced by Dalit communities across the country. Following the horrific event, the young boy voluntarily surrendered to local authorities, leading to the subsequent arrest of three adult family members, his father, mother، and 19-year-old brother were also implicated in the crime.
A chilling account has emerged from one of thesurvivors of the attack on four young Dalit boys in Maharashtra. Stripped, hung upside down, and subjected to brutal lashes of wires and sticks, the boy said he had to bear the pain for over an hour in a cowshed as he narrated the gut wrenching narrative from his hospital bed in SakharKamgar Hospital, Shrirampur town, Ahmednagar district, according to the Indian Express. The group of four young boys, all between the ages of 15-22, were assaulted and beaten over suspicion of pigeon theft from a resident’s house in Haregaon village, Ahmednagar, on August 25.
State revenue minister RadhakrishnaVikhe-Patil, with roots in Ahmednagar, paid a visit to the hospital, meeting with the survivors and their families, and assuring them that an investigation is already underway, reported Deccan Herald.
The local police took action, resulting in the arrest of two additional suspects, raising the total arrests to four.The arrested individuals, namely Manoj Bodkhe, PappuParkhe, DeepkGaikwad, and YuvrajGalande, are at the centre of the investigation. The disturbing episode unfolded on Galande’s farm, where the victims were allegedly subjected to torture after some pigeons were reportedly stolen.The authorities continue their search for two more suspects, Durgesh Vaidya and Raju Borge. Notably, Galande’s father, Nana Galande, has also been implicated in the case, although his arrest is pending. Numerous members from Dalit organisations and various social groups have rallied in support, offering solidarity throughout the day.
Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
After the harrowing incident that unfolded last Thursday, where a 20-year-old Dalit boy, Nitin Ahirwar, was fatal victim to brutal violence, the family refused to accept his body if their demands for justice, which include 10 lakhs from the government as well as for the government to raze the house of the accused. The young boy was beaten to death while his home was also vandalised, and his mother was also subjected to assault the day off the attack. The attack on Nitin Ahirwar’s family was reportedly motivated due their refusal to withdraw a sexual assault case filed against the perpetrators back in 2019. The accused were from a dominant caste and held a sphere of influence in the area. The accused had threatened them with murder of they did not withdraw. The family’s FIR was lodged in response to the molestation of their 23-year-old daughter on the streets.
In the aftermath of Nitin’s tragic demise, law enforcement lodgedan FIR at KhuraiGrameen Police Station. This FIR implicated nine individuals under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Codeand the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Inspector Nitin Pal reported that out of the nine accused, eight have been apprehended, and revenue officials are actively investigating any illegal encroachments linked to the attackers. The family’s claims pointed to the alleged perpetrators belonging to the influential Thakur community of BarodiyaNonagir village, with alleged kinship ties to the village’s sarpanch. However, despite the family’s attempts at seeking justice by lodging a written complaint and providing video evidence, the police reportedly declined to accept their FIR.
According to journalist, KashifKakvi, the state government and police responded only as the case gathered news, and was especially prompted by the formation of a fact-finding team by the Congress party. Former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh’s planned visit to the family, that along with MallikarjunKharge’svocal criticism of the state government’s handling of Dalit atrocities. In the wake of these events, the family carried out the last rites of the deceased only after District Collector Deepak Arya extended a written assurance to the family, committing to demolish the alleged perpetrators’ building, provide a government job, offer financial aid of Rs 10 lakh, and facilitate the reconstruction of their home within a span of two days.
In Rajasthan’s Kotputali-Behror district, two teachers from a government school have been charged with murder following the alleged suicide of a Class 10 Dalit student, Sachin Kuldeep, according to the Indian Express. Prior to his death, Sachin had spoken to his father, revealing that he had been subjected to casteist slurs and humiliation by the teachers, Vivek and Rajkumar, at JawaharNavodayaVidyalaya in Paota. Sachin had lodged complaints with the principal and vice principal about their behaviour, but no action was taken. Tragically, a few hours after his call, Sachin was found hanging in a classroom within the residential school. His uncle shared that Sachin’s classmates also claimed he was mistreated and threatened by the teachers, impacting his mental and physical well-being. The teachers are not only facing murder charges but also charges under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Both teachers have been suspended, and investigations are ongoing to determine whether the case is a suicide or murder. Meanwhile, Sachin’s family was seen protesting outside the hospital in response to the tragic incident earlier last week.
The issue of discrimination faced by marginalised communities, particularly Dalit and Adivasi students, is a deeply entrenched and systemic problem. Accordion to an analytical piece by Sabrang India, while there has been recognition and discussion about this discrimination by judges and officials, implementing concrete changes in educational institutions requires a comprehensive approach involving policy changes, awareness campaigns, and cultural shifts. Anti-ragging policies, addressing caste biases and a broader effort to promote inclusivity, diversity, and sensitivity within academic environments is equally necessary. The article further argues that there is a dire need to overcome deep-rooted structural discrimination and a sustained commitment from institutions, society, and policymakers alike. In the light of cases like Sachin, and the many more who suffer like him, concrete actions must be taken.
Violence against Dalits has been constantly rising. According to another story by Sabrang India, the crime rate per 1 lakh population against Scheduled Castes was 51.90 in 2017. It had reportedly decreased to 41.90 in 2018 since and then it has been on a continuous rise since then.
Courtesy : Sabrang India
Note: This news piece was originally published in sabrangindia.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Right