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In Madhya Pradesh, Sidhi district’s Padkhuri area the atmosphere is grim. Another caste atrocity has come to light as an academically bright, young Dalit boy died by suicide. His father has alleged that his son was pushed to take such a drastic step due as his teacher, Ajit Pandey abused his son and passed cateist remarks against him. The boy, Amit Prajapati was a 14-year old boy, good in basketball and studies as well.
The father, Alha Prajapati said they belong to Kumhar community and Pandey had allegedly said to his son, that he has no right to study because he is a Dalit. Prajapati work in a brick kiln. He said that when Amit had come home during holidays in December last year, he mentioned that his teacher was harassing him. Amit was studying in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Churhat
“When Amit had come home in December on a three-day leave to attend a relative’s wedding, he had told me about his teacher Ajit Pandey harassing him. So I talked to his teacher but he told us that he only scolded Amit for his good. But about a fortnight later, on 22 December, the same teacher dropped Amit off at our home at around 12 am in the night saying that Amit was involved in some bad activities and that he was mentally disturbed,” Prajapati told Quint.
After he was dropped off to his home, Amit stayed with his parents and took this drastic step on January 2. Ajit Pandey spoke to the media and said that Amit was involved in theft and only for this reason he had reprimanded the boy. He also claimed that Amit was not feeling well and was thus sent home on December 22, 2022.
Before taking his life, Amit wrote left a note blaming Pandey for harassing him and even abusing his parents.
An FIR has been lodged under the IPC section 305 (abetment of suicide of child) and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The accused is currently absconding. The Quint reported that police sources confirmed that as per investigation conducted until January 11, they have uncovered that Pandey abused Amit and used derogatory words and curses, including casteist remarks, which took a toll on him and pushed him to die by suicide.
Earlier, incidents of suicide of Dalit students due to harassment in educational institutions that caught the media’s attention are of Rohith Vemula and Payal Tadvi. Vemula, a PhD scholar was pushed to suicide in 2016 after he was suspended following a complaint by ABVP that he was raising “issues under the banner of the Ambedkar Students Association” (ASA). He, along with 4 other students were asked to vacate their hostel rooms as well and he was unable to manage expenses after that. In his suicide note he mentioned how he felt his “birth was his fatal accident”.
In 2019, Dr Payal Tadvi, a 23-year-old, a postgraduate student at Nair Hospital, died by suicide after allegedly facing harassment at the hands of three senior doctors. Tadvi’s mother claimed that her daughter would tell her over the phone that 3 senior doctors would ridicule her and discriminate against her for belong to tribal community.
While these happened a few years ago, some recent incidents came from Rajasthan and UP. In December last year a 9-year-old Dalit boy, Indra Kumar Meghwal was allegedly assaulted by his teacher for drinking water from a pot meant for “upper castes”, so ruthlessly, that it caused the boy’s death. Last year, in September, a 15-year-old Dalit student from the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh died after he was allegedly beaten mercilessly by his social sciences school teacher during an exam, apparently because he spelt a word incorrectly.
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