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Rajasthan Dalit Boy Death: Meira Kumar, Rahul Gandhi Condemn Incident

The Jalore Police has taken the accused teacher into custody, however, the incident has caused an uproar.

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani

As the Congress-led government in Rajasthan finds itself in the eye of a storm over the death of a nine-year-old Dalit student after being thrashed by his teacher for allegedly touching a pot of drinking water in Jalore district, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday, 16 August, said that "caste system remains the greatest enemy 75 years after Independence."

The student, Indra Meghwal, died on 13 August after being thrashed by the teacher, who has been arrested following the incident.

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"100 years ago my father Babu Jagjivan Ram was prohibited from drinking water in school from the pitcher meant for Savarna Hindus. It was a miracle his life was saved. 75 long years after Independence, caste system remains our greatest enemy," Meira Kumar tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati Condemn Incident

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, too, condemned the death of the child and said the accused should be given the harshest 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."
Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Pana Chand Meghwal sent his resignation to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday saying that if he cannot protect the community, he does not have the right to remain a legislator.

“When we fail to protect the rights of our community and get them justice, then we have no right to remain on the post. After listening to my inner voice, I resign from the post of MLA, so that I can serve the community without any post,” he said.

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Bahujan Samaj Party chief (BSP) Mayawati slammed the Ashok Gehlot-led government and demanded that President's Rule be imposed in the state.

The BSP said it will give representations addressed to the President on Tuesday.
"Such casteist painful incidents keep happening in Rajasthan every day. It is clear from this that the Congress government has failed to protect the life and dignity of the Dalits, tribals and the neglected, etc. Therefore, it is better if this government is dismissed and President's rule is imposed there."
Mayawati, BSP chief

Congress leader Sachin Pilot also visited the family of the deceased to express his condolences. He further added that we should raise our voice against discrimination.

"It is not possible to express in words the pain of a parent who has lost their child. I hope that the innocent and his family get justice soon and the culprit gets the harshest punishment. Along with this, all of us should raise our voice to protect the society from social evils like discrimination," he tweeted in Hindi.

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Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia pointed out that, "Incidents of Dalit atrocities have happened one after another in the last three-and-a-half years. This happens when the state government, chief minister are weak. The guilty must be punished at the earliest."

"A person commits such acts when they no longer fear the administration. This countless spate of incidents shows that the state chief minister and home minister are helpless. The guilty must be brought to book."
Satish Poonia, Rajasthan BJP chief

Jogeshwar Garg, a BJP MLA from Jalore has said that it is doubtful that the nine-year old Dalit boy was beaten because he touched a water pot used by upper-caste people. However, he said that the facts will come out after the investigation ends.

"I have spoken to villagers and others. According to them, there is doubt that the incident occurred because the boy was of Meghwal community and he touched the water pot," Jogeshwar Garg said.

"There is no doubt that the boy was beaten up by the teacher and he died. The accused has been arrested and an investigation is being held. Whether he was beaten up for being Meghwal and touching the water pot will be clear in the probe," he added.

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Condemning the incident, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani said, "The news of a 9 year old dalit child being thrashed in a school leading to his death in Rajasthan's jalore dist is horrifying. His crime-drank water from the pot meant for 'upper caste'. What makes one believe that they are superior by birth and others inferior to them?"

National Commission to Probe Incident

Rajasthan Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman Khiladi Lal Bairwa met the young boy's family and said, "It is an unfortunate and painful incident. On one hand, the country is celebrating Amrit Utsav, and on the other side, atrocities on Dalit are happening."

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes will send a team to Rajasthan’s Jalore on Tuesday to look into the death of the nine-year-old Dalit boy.

Apex child rights body National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also sought strict action by the Rajasthan government against the accused persons.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had taken to Twitter to condemn the incident and said the case will be taken up under the 'case officer' scheme for faster 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," CM Gehlot had tweeted.

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani
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