Dalit boy dies after being assaulted by teacher in Rajasthan school

He had drunk water from an earthen pot allegedly reserved for teachers from higher castes

August 14, 2022 03:14 am | Updated 12:31 pm IST - JAIPUR:

Illustration used for representational purposes only.

Illustration used for representational purposes only.

A nine-year-old Dalit boy died on Saturday, 24 days after he was assaulted by a teacher in his school in Jalore district of Rajasthan for allegedly touching a pot of drinking water.

The boy was under medical care at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. He was taken there after he did not respond to treatment in Jalore and Udaipur.

The incident took place at a private school, Saraswati Vidya Mandir, in Surana village on July 20, when the teacher, Chhail Singh, took exception to the student of Class III, Inder Meghwal, touching the earthen pot and drinking water from it.

Inder’s father Deva Ram alleged that Mr. Singh severely beat his son and threw casteist slurs at him.

Inder was first taken to the district hospital in Jalore, from where he was referred to Udaipur. The doctors there detected damage to his ear nerves. When the child’s condition deteriorated, he was taken to Ahmedabad for treatment by specialists. Inder did not respond to the treatment and died due to the internal injuries, doctors said.

After Mr. Dev Ram reported the matter to the police, a case was registered under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the Sayla police station. Mr. Singh was detained and was being interrogated till late on Saturday night.

Superintendent of Police, Jalore, Harsh Vardhan Agarwalla, who visited Surana village and met the family of the deceased, said the investigation was in progress and the allegation of assault with the casteist angle was yet to be confirmed.

The school also has a big tank from which the students and the teachers of all communities drink water.

However, Mr. Deva Ram said the earthen pot was reserved for the teachers belonging to higher castes.

Inder touched the pot by mistake and drank water from it when he was thirsty. Mr. Singh noticed it and assaulted the boy, according to the complaint submitted to the police.

The Education Department has also started an investigation into the matter. The chief block education officer has formed an inquiry committee, which will visit the school. The investigation was entrusted to panchayat elementary education officer Ashok Kumar Dave.

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