Bhim Army chief demands a CBI probe into death of Dalit teen in U.P.

He says body was forcibly cremated

Updated - March 01, 2024 02:52 am IST

Published - March 01, 2024 02:51 am IST - Lucknow

A file photo of Bhim army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad.

A file photo of Bhim army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad. | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad on Thursday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing of a 17-year-old Dalit boy, Sumesh Kumar, alleging that the police “forcibly” cremated the body on Wednesday.

Sumesh was killed in a clash between two groups over the installation of a board with B.R. Ambedkar’s photo on Tuesday on a disputed plot in Silai Baragaon village under Milak police station limits in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur district. The deceased boy’s brother alleged in a video that two police officers opened fire at the behest of the other group and Sumesh was passing through the area when a bullet hit him. Two others, Amit and Raheespal, were also injured. They were taken to the government hospital in Milak.

“The body was forcibly cremated by the police. The bullet that injured Amit was removed from his body after 36 hours of the incident. This creates suspicion of foul play,” Mr. Aazad said.

The deceased boy’s family, which sat on a protest on Wednesday, had reportedly “agreed to” perform the last rites only after a case was registered against the Station House Officer and four policemen under various Sections, including 302 (murder), of the IPC and Sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

‘Reminded of Hathras’

“The accused charged under Section 302 are roaming freely in Rampur and no arrests have been made so far. Therefore, we demand a CBI probe,” said Mr. Aazad, who was stopped at Sambhal by the police while on his way to Rampur and could meet the victim’s family only after the cremation. “Today, I’m once again reminded of Hathras [the alleged gang rape-murder and forcible cremation of a Dalit woman in Hathras in 2020],” Mr. Aazad told The Hindu.

While the village continued to remain on edge, various political and social outfits, including a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) delegation on Thursday reached Silai Baragaon to meet the victim’s family. Multiple attempts to reach Rampur Superintendent of Police, Rajesh Dwivedi, and Milak Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kirti Nidhi Anand, failed to elicit any response.

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