A Rajasthan Congress MLA resigned in protest against the death of a 9-year-old Dalit student in District Jalore. Panachand Meghwal, the MLA from the Atru assembly seat in District Baran, said that he was hurt by the incident. He said that Dalits and deprived communities were being subjected to constant atrocities and torture.
Rajasthan Congress MLA Babulal Bairwa said atrocities against Dalits had increased in the state. he demanded a special assembly session to discuss the issue.
The two protesting party colleagues notwithstanding, the chief minister of Rajasthan brazened it out. Reacting to the news, Ashok Gehlot said such incidents happened in all states.
"These kinds of incidents happen in every state. If you watch TV or read the newspapers, you know that these incidents happen everywhere. We strongly condemn this. Be it in our state or in any other state. Whether it is the incident of Udaipur or Jalore, we have taken decisions that are convincing to the public. The BJP should make it an issue, being in opposition. However, our government has taken action and arrested the teacher. What more could be done? The whole state and country are watching," Gehlot said today.
The nine-year-old Dalit boy died yesterday after being beaten up allegedly by a teacher for touching a drinking water pot in a private school in District Jalore of Rajasthan, police said. This is a private school in Village Surana. The injured child, Indra Meghwal, was taken to a hospital in Ahmedabad for treatment.
The police arrested the teacher Chail Singh, 40, and charged him with murder under Sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The internet has been suspended in the area to prevent the situation from escalating.
"When we fail to protect the rights of our community…we have no right to remain on the post. After listening to my inner voice, I resign from the post of the MLA, so that I can serve the community without any position," the MLA said in his resignation letter.
"I am hurt, looking at the atrocities. I cannot express my pain in words, the way my community is being tortured. Dalits are being killed for drinking water from a pot, sporting a moustache or riding a mare during a wedding. The judicial process is stalled and case files are passed from one table to the other. Cases of atrocities against Dalits are on the rise in the last few years. It seems there is no one to protect the rights of Dalits given by the Constitution," he said.
“In most of the cases lodged by Dalits, the police submit the final report. Many a time, I have raised such cases in the state assembly but no action was taken by the police," Meghwal said.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who is also the Tonk MLA of the INC, said he would meet the Dalit family tomorrow.
“In Surana village of Jalore district, a student Indra Kumar lost his life after he was brutally thrashed by the teacher. I meet the family of Indra on August 16 to express my condolences," he tweeted.
Superintendent of Police of Jalore Harsh Vardhan Agarwalla said the boy was beaten up badly and added that the reason cited for it — touching a drinking water pot — was yet to be investigated. “We have filed a case against the teacher, Chail Singh, under section 302 of the IPC and the SC/ST Act and have arrested him," the police officer said.