Dalit Boy Beaten To Death For Touching Pot Of Water, Protests Break Out

A Dalit boy who was allegedly beaten up for touching a pot of water meant for the upper caste, succumbed to his injuries on August 13, 2022.

In an unfortunate incident of caste discrimination, a Dalit boy who was allegedly beaten up for touching a pot of water meant for the upper caste, succumbed to his injuries on August 13, 2022.

The nine-year-old Dalit boy, Indra Kumar Meghwal was a student of a private school ‘Saraswati Vidya Mandir’ in in Surana village in Jalore district of Rajasthan.  He was allegedly beaten up by his school teacher, Chail Singh, who got infuriated upon seeing him drinking water from a pot meant for upper caste.

The incident occurred on July 20, 2022. According to the deceased father, Devaram Meghwal, after getting mercilessly beaten, the young boy was injured in his eye and ear, and was bleeding profusely.

A complaint letter submitted to the Saila police station by the family on Saturday says that Singh beat up Indra while abusing him with casteist slurs for drinking water from an earthen pot meant for upper caste people. The letter adds that Indra had sustained injuries in his right ear and eye due to being beaten up by Singh.

He was initially taken to the district hospital, from where he was referred to a hospital in Udaipur where he remained for a week. However, as there was no development in his condition even after treatment, he was taken to a hospital 300 km away in Ahmedabad, where he finally succumbed on Saturday during treatment.

The teacher, Chail Singh, 40, has been arrested and charged with murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The internet has also been suspended in the area to prevent the situation from escalating.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the incident and said the case has been taken up under the Case Officer Scheme for speedy investigation.

“The death of a student due to assault by a teacher in a private school in the Sayla police station area of Jalore is tragic. An arrest has been made against the accused teacher by registering a case under sections of the murder and SC/ST Act,” Gehlot said on Twitter.

He also announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh from the chief minister’s relief fund for the kin of the deceased.

Rajasthan deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore condemned the incident and demanded strict action against the teacher of the dalit boy beaten to death.

BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla targeted the state government and asked how long injustice on Dalits continues.

Talking about the protest by the relatives of the dalit boy beaten to death and a Dalit rights organisation, a senior police officer said the family members were ready to cremate the body but activists of the Dalit organisation were making undue demands. “The CM has already announced 5 lakh compensation. Besides, 8.25 lakh compensation is provided under the SC/ST Act when case is lodged in Section 302 of IPC,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity. “But when the administration was reaching an agreement, the activists and some villagers tried taking the body out from the residence without the consent of the family. The police then used light force to disperse them.”

District collector Nishant Jain said the situation is under control and no force was used. “The agitators were just pushed bac. An agreement has been reached with the family members and the body is cremated,” he said. “A sum of 5 lakh has been announced by the CM and half the amount (under SC/ST Act) of around 4 lakh has been handed over to the family while the rest will be given after the challan.”

Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot will visit Jalore on Tuesday to meet the family of the boy. “We have to end these evils prevalent in society,” Pilot tweeted.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi condemned the incident, saying the accused in the incident of the dalit boy beaten to death should be given the strictest of punishment. “The incident involving the death of an innocent Dalit child after he was brutally thrashed by a ruthless teacher in Jalore is very sad. I condemn this cruel act. My condolences to the victim’s family,” he said in a tweet in Hindi. “The accused has been arrested under harsh sections. He should be given the harshest punishment,” Gandhi also said.

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