3 Dalit boys stripped, beaten for us­ing well

Up­per caste mem­bers al­legedly took of­fence of them swim­ming in vil­lage well

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: In a shock­ing in­ci­dent, three mi­nor Dalit boys were stripped, beaten and pa­raded naked in a vil­lage in Jam­ner of Jal­gaon dis­trict, for al­legedly swim­ming in a vil­lage well, of­fi­cials said on Thursday.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on June 10 (Sunday), but came to the fore only af­ter some videos of the boys be­ing pa­raded in the Vakadi vil­lage went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia sites. Ma­ha­rash­tra rev­enue min­is­ter Chan­drakant Patil said that the po­lice have ar­rested two peo­ple — Ish­war Joshi and Pal­had Lo­har - in the case. Joshi owns the well and filmed the en­tire in­ci­dent, while Lo­har is his ser­vant, who had beaten the boys on his owner’s in­struc­tions.

The po­lice have charged them with var­i­ous sec­tions un­der The Sched­uled Castes and Tribes (Pre­ven­tion of Atroc­i­ties) Act, The Pro­tec­tion of Chil­dren from Sex­ual Of­fences Act (POCSO Act), In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Act and In­dian Pe­nal Code (IPC).

Last Sunday, to beat the scorch­ing heat, the three young boys, aged be­tween 12-14, jumped into a vil­lage well for a swim. As

› We have a wit­nessed rise in the cases of the such atroc­i­ties against Dal­its across the coun­try in last four years of the BJP rule... The in­ci­dent in Jal­gaon was a blot for the pro­gres­sive Ma­ha­rash­tra ASHOK CHA­VAN, Congress chief, Ma­ha­rash­tra

some lo­cals learnt of it, a large num­ber of peo­ple, in­clud­ing many from the up­per castes, gath­ered and pulled the boys out.

In the video clip that went vi­ral, the boys can be seen wear­ing only san­dals and some tree leaves with at least one per­son whip­ping them on the legs and back with what ap­peared to be a leather belt. Patil in­sisted that the case should not be given te caste colour as all the vic­tims as well as the ac­cused come from back­ward classes. Of the three vic­tims, two are sched­uled castes and one is from the sched­uled tribes, while the well owner is from the no­madic tribe com­mu­nity.

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