A nine-year-old Dalit boy who died after allegedly being thrashed by his school teacher in Rajasthan’s Jalore district was cremated on Sunday, amid tension at his village where some ”outsiders” hurled stones at police, officials said. Ahead of the boy’s cremation, some ”outsiders” tried to intervene while the family and administration were holding talks about compensation and tried to snatch the body but police quickly restored order, they said. Indra Meghwal, a class 3 student of Saraswati Vidhay Mandir in Surana village in Jalore district, was beaten up on July 20 allegedly for touching a drinking water pot and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Police have arrested the teacher, Chail Singh, 40, and charged him with murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The incident has evoked sharp reactions from various political parties, with the BJP demanding action against the owner of the school and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati demanding President’s Rule in Rajasthan. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also condemned the incident and said the accused should be given harshest punishment.
Officials said the boy was cremated in his village in the presence of Jalore district magistrate Nishant Jian and Superintendent of Police Harshvardhan Agarwalla. Both the officials also held a meeting with the victim’s family members at their home in the village. ”The family has already been provided the cheque of Rs 5 lakh announced by the chief minister. The family is also entitled for another compensation of Rs 8 lakh under SC/ST rules. This amount will also be disbursed to the family next week,” the SP said. Police said some ”outsiders” also tried to take control of the negotiations between the family and the administration, forcing the family to agree on a compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a government job to one of the family members.
They tried to snatch the body of the victim from the family. During this, they also began pelting stones on the police but were soon controlled and pushed away, police said. Agarwalla, however, said the people involved in this were soon controlled by the police and were pushed away. Adequate deployment of police personnel was done at the boy’s village in order to ward off any untoward incident, officials said. The senior police official said the family was satisfied with the compensation package given by the government and also agreed later for the postmortem and cremation of the body.
Meanwhile, a purported audio clip of a conversation between the victim’s father and the teacher has gone viral. The father is heard in the clip complaining about the thrashing of the boy while the teacher is heard giving an assurance to him about providing treatment to him and compensation.
A purported video clip has also gone viral, in which Devaram, the victim’s father, is seen appealing to organisations like Bheem Army to support him. The BJP on Sunday demanded action against the owner of a private school. Party’s state president Satish Poonia charged that such incidents happen when the state government and chief minister are weak. ”Incidents of Dalit atrocities have happened one after another in the last three-and-a-half years. This happens when the state government, chief minister are weak. The guilty must be punished at the earliest,” Poonia told reporters.
”When the country is celebrating 75th year of independence, such an incident forces us to think where we are standing. A society is made up of unity and harmony, and for us society is paramount,” he said.
Reacting to the incident, BSP chief Mayawati demanded President’s Rule in Rajasthan and said no amount of condemnation of this painful incident is less.
Slamming the Ashok Gehlot government, she said, ”Such painful casteist incidents happen almost everyday in Rajasthan. This incident is a clear example to show that the Congress government has failed in protecting the life and dignity of people, especially the Dalits, tribals and the neglected. Therefore, it would be better if this (current) government (of Rajasthan) is dismissed and President’s Rule imposed.” PTI COR TDS TDS
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)