2 Dalit Kids Beaten to Death in MP For Defecating in Open; 2 Held
One of the accused told police he killed the kids as God had commanded him in his dream to kill “demons”.
Two Dalit children, aged 10 and 12, were beaten to death with sticks in a village in Madhya Pradesh's Shivpuri district allegedly for defecating in the open on Wednesday, 25 September.
The victims, 12-year-old Roshani and her 10-year-old nephew Avinash, were beaten by two men from their village in Bhavkedi when they were defecating on a street in front of the panchayat building around 6.30 am, the police said quoting complaints filed by the deceased's parents.
“We don’t have a toilet at home. The children went out to defecate in the morning. Rameshwar and Hakam, who were standing near their hand pump, shouted at them for defecating on the road and rained blows of lathis (sticks) on their heads while the children were relieving themselves, killing them in seconds.”Avinash’s father, Manoj Balmiki, told reporters
"I saw the accused fleeing. The duo were caught by people some distance away," he said.
The two children were rushed to the nearest district hospital in a critical state but succumbed to their injuries.
Victim’s Family Alleges Caste Discrimination
Later, while talking to reporters, Manoj Balmiki, alleged that they were facing discrimination over their caste.
Manoj alleged that he had had a spat with Rameshwar and Hakam two years ago when they accused him of hacking off a branch from their tree and hurled casteist slurs at him.
“We have to wait for an hour to draw water from the hand-pump. The entire village discriminates against us,” Manoj said.
"The panchayat had sanctioned a house with toilet for me. But a family member of the accused was panchayat sarpanch, he scuttled the proposal," Manoj alleged.
What Action Has Been Taken So Far?
Both the accused, Hakim Singh Yadav and Rameshwar Yadav, have been arrested by the police. Hakim Singh, according to the police, is not ‘mentally stable.”
A police source said that after he was arrested, Hakam Yadav said he killed the kids as God had commanded him in his dream to kill “demons”.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Shivpuri, Rajesh Chandel, said an FIR has been lodged against the accused. They’ve been booked under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC as well as relevant sections under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
While speaking to The Quint, Chandel added, that “this is not a case of caste violence.” Avinash’s father, in his complaint, said the two Yadav brothers had scolded the children in the past for defecating in the open as well.
Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in Bhavkedhi village, located around 25 km from the district headquarters, the police added.
District collector Anugraha P told PTI that aid of Rs 50,000 each will be given to the kin of the deceased, besides financial help under the SC-ST Act.
Asked about the village being declared ODF last year, she said she will find out if it was true.
Mayawati Hits Out at Both BJP and Congress
Terming the incident "unfortunate", BSP president Mayawati slammed the successive BJP and Congress governments in the state for "failing to provide proper toilet facilities".
"Besides keeping millions of Dalits, backwards and religious minorities deprived of government facilities, they have also been made a victim of all kinds of malicious atrocities and in such a situation the dastardly violence of two Dalit youth in Madhya Pradesh's Shivpuri is most unfortunate and condemnable," the BSP chief tweeted.
In another tweet, she said, "The Congress and BJP governments should explain why proper toilet facilities have not been provided in the houses of poor Dalits and backward communities. If this truth is very bitter then those who beat the Dalits to death for being forced to defecate in the open should be hanged."
Saddened by Cruelty & Inhumanity: Priyanka Gandhi Asks for Strict Punishment
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Thursday, 26 September said that as a mother, she can only imagine what their mothers would be going through.
“As a mother, I was deeply saddened by the cruelty and inhumanity of the incident. What was the fault of these children and what would be happening to their mother?”Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Priyanka further requested MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath to punish criminals with the harshest punishment. “Such violent and condemnable incidents should not happen in the future also,” she said.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.