Rajasthan Dalit Child’s Killing: The death of a Dalit boy in Rajasthan threatens to turn into a political crisis for the ruling Congress, after his teacher is attacked by his teacher for allegedly drinking water from a pot meant for “upper castes”.
Apart from coming under fire from the opposition BJP, the Ashok Gehlot government is also facing heat from within.
Congress MLA from Baran-Atru Panachand Meghwal has sent his resignation to the Chief Minister expressing deep grief over the death of a nine-year-old student.
Rajasthan Dalit Child’s Killing
Also, Congress leader Sachin Pilot, whose rebellion threatened to topple Mr Gehlot’s government, is on his way to Jalore district to meet the boy’s family. “We have to put an end to incidents like Jalore. We have to assure the people of Dalit society that we stand with them,” Pilot said. “The government is taking appropriate action and will do so in future also. We should politicize such issue,” he said.
Determined not to let Mr Pilot take political mileage, the chief minister has now sent senior cabinet ministers and state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara to Jalore.
Nine-year-old Indra suffered an eye and ear injury after he was allegedly thrashed by a teacher for drinking water from a vessel used by upper caste people. After the July 20 incident at a private school, he was taken to a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. There he died last week.
The police have arrested the teacher and charged him with murder and under the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The FIR registered in the case states that Indra was “naive and did not know that the utensil was set aside for the upper caste teacher”. The FIR states, “Teacher Chail Singh told the boy, ‘You are from a lower caste. How dare you drink water from my pitcher!’ Then he beat her.”
Speaking to the media, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said that he has directed the officials to ensure a speedy investigation into the matter. Announcing an assistance of Rs 5 lakh, he had said, “Justice will be ensured at the earliest to the victim’s family.”
Targeting the state government, BJP said that the death of the child is shameful. The state BJP had tweeted, “When will Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra suggest Mr Gehlot to ensure justice for Dalits in Rajasthan.
In a fresh setback, Congress MLA Meghwal has announced his resignation, flagging caste crimes in the state.
The MLA, in his resignation letter, has said that only files are transferred in the name of investigation of such cases and that even after raising the matter in the assembly, the police did not act swiftly. “When we cannot protect the rights of our society and ensure justice, we have no right to continue in this position,” he said.
What else can add to Mr. Pilot’s journey to Mr. Gehlot’s concerns.
After the 2020 rebellion, which nearly brought down the Ashok Gehlot government, an uneasy balance continues in the state Congress due to interference from the party high command. However, friction continues between the camps led by Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot.
Against this backdrop, the Chief Minister will be watching the visit of Mr. Pilot to Jalore eagerly.