This refers to the report “Dalit victim fears for his life” (Sept. 30). The assault on the Dalit villager, Vasanta Bagde, and his mother by a group of people in Wardha district of Maharashtra deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The police apathy to the incident — they registered a case after 12 days — is atrocious. Those who perpetrate such atrocities have become emboldened because of the poor record of governments in protecting Dalits. This explains the series of attacks on Dalits in Maharashtra.
The atrocity committed on Bagde and his family is a classic example of official apathy. It has exposed the criminal nexus between officials and the elected representatives at grassroots level. While the development officer concerned did not allot even one out of the 10 wells — allotted to farmers under the Prime Minister’s package — to Dalits, the deputy sarpanch of Bagde’s village assaulted him and his mother when he dared to point out the discrimination. For their part, the police did not register the case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for 12 days.
The government must provide all help to Bagde and prosecute the above officials along with the perpetrators of the crime.