Irony at its worst: Dalit boy thrashed for attending rally about ending caste discrimination

He was beaten by his own friends who belonged to the Rajput community

Attack on dalits

Two Rajput men were arrested in Neemuch, Bhopal for allegedly thrashing a Dalit youth, Rahul Meghwal (23), for taking part in a rally calling for an end to caste discrimination on November 3, The Hindu reported.

District Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar Sagar said, “While one of the accused was arrested earlier, another is absconding. We have declared a reward of ₹5,000 for anyone informing the police about his whereabouts.”

Though the Dalit Swabhiman Rally took place on November 3, Rahul reported the matter to the cops only on November 7.

The details of the heinous injury and FIR are here.

Saying that his friends had turned into his foes, he said, “I was scared initially. They had threatened to kill me if I filed a complaint. I have never had to face even a slap. But that night, the four men, who were my friends, thrashed me on my back with lathis.”

Rahul, who belongs to the Ratadiya village in Neemuch, runs a news portal called Malwa 24 News and his rally and his coverage of the rally was well appreciated by members of his community.

One of the accused, Yogesh Singh called Rahul to a dhaba for a meeting, who on reaching helped stopped an ongoing scuffle between Yogesh and another youth Kapil Meghwal.

According to the FIR, Yogesh fled away with Rahul’s motorcycle and later called him to the Dussehra ground, where along with three others, he snatched Rahul’s two mobile phones and forcibly took him to an empty spot near the village.

Rahul said he was shouting for help all the way and another accused Arjun Singh, who also stands arrested, took out “something resembling a gun” and put it to his head, threatening to kill him in case he went to the police.

He said that while thrashing him, his friends hurled casteist slurs at him – “Weren’t you jumping a lot in the rally? You don’t have the status to be our equal. Don’t you know about our clout in this area?”

Rahul alleges that his father was also threatened against filing a police complaint. But as things came to a head on November 6 when they were threatened again, Mr. Rahul, district incharge of the Bhim Army, approached its State leadership.

“He was initially reluctant about complaining against upper caste men as they had threatened him. But we told him not to worry about consequences,” said Sunil Astay, State in-charge, Bhim Army. “His own friends turned enemies when it came to caste.”

Sunil Astay confirmed the incident on Twitter:



While Rahul refrained from filing an FIR for the fear of his life, the Bhim army alleges that the delay of the police in filing the Fir helped the accused abscond.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has for the first time published data for cases in which only the SC/ST Act was invoked without any sections of IPC. Unlike the 2016 data, there are separate figures for 2017 for intentional insult or humiliation of a Dalit, occupation of Dalit land, preventing the use of public space, and social boycott.

Of the 5,775 offences registered solely under the SC/ST Act in 2017 with Dalits as victims, 3,172 (55%) were related to “Intentionally Insult or Intimidate with Intent to Humiliate”. There were 47 cases of land grabbing related to Dalits; they faced social boycott in 63 cases; and they were prevented from using public spaces in 12 cases.

The highest rates of crimes against Dalits (number of incidents per 1,00,000 population) were in Madhya Pradesh (52), Bihar (41), and Rajasthan (35).

Though the high number of crimes reported show that more people are now coming forth to report them, it is definitely not a good indicator of the gruesome, murderous society we now live in.


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