Uttar Pradesh: Crimes against Dalits continue unabated

Dalit village head beaten to death, one arrested for killing Dalit woman kho-kho player, Dalit teen dead in juvenile home… the list goes on

DalitImage Courtesy:newsclick.in

Bijnore Police have announced that they have arrested a daily wager named Shahzad, for allegedly killing a 24-year-old Dalit woman who was a national-level kho-kho player whose body was found near a railway track in Bijnor. Police told the media they tracked the accused down based on an “audio clip” that had been shared by a friend of the victim, who had been talking to her when she was attacked on September 10.

On that fateful day, the victim, a Dalit woman who was national-level kho-kho player, was on her way home after a job interview. Police stated that this was when the accused Shahzad, “who was as a labourer working at the railway station, saw her and dragged her to the cement railway sleepers and attempted to rape her.” The victim had been talking to her friend, and had tried to shout for help, when the accused strangled her with her own dupatta and a rope, stated the news report. Her chilling cries  for help were heard by her friend over the call. Police told the media that the accused had intended to rape the woman, but “panicked when she screamed and then strangled her with her own dupatta.”  

According to the police, Shahzad was a drug addict, who had been stalking the 24-year-old victim. The police statement quoted him saying, “That girl used to pass across the railway station and I would often have bad thoughts about her. That day, I did not have any work so I was sitting on the tracks and was having ganja (marijuana)… I saw her passing from there around 12 and I kept waiting for her to return.”

After the woman screamed, the accused attacked her, and absconded from the place with the victim’s mobile. It was a group of locals who had found her bruised body in a pool of blood and alerted the police. Her family has alleged that she was raped, however the police have ruled that out, stated news reports. Her family said the young woman had submitted her resume at a local private school seeking appointment as a sports teacher. She “was heading back home through the same shortcut, near the railway tracks behind her house, that she always took. Except this time, she never made it home.” Her body was found hardly a stone’s throw from her house, stated news reports.

Dalit village pradhan murdered

Seven people have been arrested on charges of murdering a 45-year-old village pradhan at Semardari village in Gorakhpur district. According to a report in the Indian Express, the local police have said all those arrested were “distant relatives and neighbours” of the victim, identified as Janak Dhari Ranjan. He was reportedly beaten to death with sticks and stones during a clash at Semardari village on Monday evening. His brother-in-law Mithlesh Kumar (30), was also injured.

Police told the media that the victims were beaten up after an altercation occurred over the right of way for the accused’s vehicle. Reportedly “a consignment of tiles was being unloaded from a vehicle at the village Panchayat Bhawan in the presence of Ranjan and Mithlesh on Monday evening when a Bolero, carrying the accused, sought passage to go ahead.” The pradhan refused to move the vehicle, and told the men that they will have to wait till the tiles are unloaded. Enraged, the accused began an argument with the pradhan, which soon turned violent. A critically injured Janak Dhari Ranjan, was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. His injured brother in law is now stated to be stable.

Dalit teen found hanging juvenile home’s bathroom 

A 16-year-old Dalit boy was found hanging in the bathroom of a juvenile home in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, stated media reports. The incident reportedly took place on Monday, and the teens family has alleged that he had been “brutally beaten up by upper caste inmates” of the juvenile home. According to a report in Times of India, the victim’s father said, “On Monday, around 5 P.M, I got a call telling me my son had hanged himself. But I am certain he was murdered.” 

The boy’s father alleged that he had met his son recently and was told that he was in deep pain. The teenager reportedly asked his father to take him away from the juvenile home allegeding that “inmates, in collusion with staff, would thrash him brutally. He had told me they broke his rib and he found it difficult to breathe. His hip bone had also been injured. What could I do? I told him I was trying hard to get him out. Now, he’s dead.”

Why was he in a juvenile home?

According to the news report the teenager was sent to the juvenile home on July 30, after he was “apprehended for allegedly ‘kidnapping’ an upper caste girl he had eloped with.” However the boy’s family told the media that he “had fallen in love with an upper caste girl” of the same age who lived on the floor above theirs, in a house in Amroha. The two teenagers remained in touch even after the girl’s family moved away.

The boy’s uncle told the media that, “The girl asked our boy to meet her and take her away. He made the mistake of eloping with her. The girl’s family filed a police complaint and he was held.”  The family alleged that the teen “was regularly beaten up by upper caste inmates at the juvenile home for having ‘dared to’ elope with an upper caste girl. 

They also allegedly hurled caste abuses at him. According to news reports, the teen had tried to run away from the juvenile home, which his father says was because he was “tortured incessantly.” However he was convinced by the father to “surrender and return to the home” and the fatigue reportedly “submitted a written application to the court requesting protection for his son. But things did not get better at home.”

Now, based on the father’s police complaint, an FIR has been lodged against five inmates, the girl’s parents and her uncle, they have been charged of murder, criminal conspiracy and under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.  

Minor Dalit girl sexually harassed, subjected to casteist slurs

A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly sexually harassed and subjected to casteist slurs in a village in Uttar Pradesh reported India Today. The incident was reported from the village under the Budhana police station limits. Additional Superintendent of Police Atul Shrivastava told the media that the accused has been arrested, and a case has been registered under relevant sections of the law.


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