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Political leaders arrive in Jalore to meet Dalit boy’s family

Former Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot with the family members of Dalit boy Inder Meghwal in Jalore district’s Surana village on Tuesday.

Former Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot with the family members of Dalit boy Inder Meghwal in Jalore district’s Surana village on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A battery of political leaders arrived in Jalore district’s Surana village on Tuesday to meet the family of nine-year-old Dalit boy Inder Meghwal, who died on August 13 after an alleged assault by a teacher in his school. The leaders expressed condolences and affirmed that the atrocities against Dalits should be stopped forthwith.

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra announced a financial assistance of ₹20 lakh to the family of the deceased on behalf of the party, in addition to the ex-gratia assistance given from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Mr. Dotasra assured the villagers that the guilty would be punished after a “fair and unbiased” investigation.

Senior Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who met Inder’s father Deva Ram and other family members, said there should be “zero tolerance” for the crimes against Dalits and the State government should take steps to win the trust of Dalit communities. “A strong message should be sent that no crime against Dalits will go unpunished,” Mr. Pilot said.

Mr. Pilot was accompanied by Forest Minister Hemaram Choudhary and Jodhpur’s Congress leader and former Minister Rajendra Choudhary. In an apparent reference to the remarks made by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Mr. Pilot said it was irrelevant to say that the atrocities against Dalits were taking place in all States. “We must take a resolve that no persecution of Dalits will be allowed anywhere,” he said.

Dalit rights activists stage a candlelight protest at the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Statue on Tank Bund, condemning the death of a minor Dalit boy who drank water from the earthen pot meant for upper-caste people at a school in Jalore district of Rajasthan, in Hyderabad on August 16, 2022.

Dalit rights activists stage a candlelight protest at the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Statue on Tank Bund, condemning the death of a minor Dalit boy who drank water from the earthen pot meant for upper-caste people at a school in Jalore district of Rajasthan, in Hyderabad on August 16, 2022. | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

Women & Child Development Minister Mamta Bhupesh, Ministers of State Govind Meghwal and Arjun Bamniya and Public Grievances Redressal Committee chairman Pukhraj Parashar accompanied Mr. Dotasra. Dalit groups staged demonstrations and took out candle marches in several cities, including Jaipur, Jodhpur and Dausa, in protest against the incident.

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Jalore, Jogeshwar Garg said the investigation should reveal if the boy was actually beaten up for touching an earthen pot kept aside for teachers and drinking water from it. He said the caste angle of the alleged crime should be clarified in the probe by the investigating officers of the police.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 1:50:23 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/political-leaders-arrive-in-jalore-to-meet-dalit-boys-family/article65776297.ece