Bhopal: In a horrifying incident, a house of dalit man was allegedly set on fire and his family members assaulted by upper caste men in Madhya Pradesh's Sehore on Sunday, June 13. All he did was oppose dumping of waste in front of his house, the victim claimed.
According to victim Sobhal Singh's complaint to police, the incident took place on Sunday morning in Sehore's Mundla Mahoba village of Asta tehsil when they allegedly opposed the dumping of waste (cow dung) in front of their home which irked the men who are from an upper caste.
The FIR of the incident said that the accused Narayan Singh Sendhwa and two of his kin attacked the dalit family after the they (dalit) kept bricks in front of their home where upper caste men dump cow dung.
It added that the men attacked the dalit family with iron rods and sharp edged weapons which led to severe head injuries on two men of the family including a 65-year-old. The Jawar Police has registered an FIR against six upper caste men under sections 294, 323, 506 of the IPC and also invoked three sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act-1989.
FIR registered at Jawar Police Station.
"A case has been registered against six people for allegedly assaulting and abusing the dalit family in which two people have been injured," said Madan Evenes, Town Inspector of Jawar Police Station. "A counter FIR has also been filed by the upper caste family who also got injured in the scuffle," he added.
Talking to NewsClick over phone, Sobhal Singh alleged that his house was set on fire by the upper caste men, and women of his family were also roughed up by the attackers. “But, police didn't mention these incidents in the FIR under pressure of the upper caste group. When we went to register the FIR at the SC/ST Police Station after the incident, the town inspector abused and chased us away. Later we went to our nearest Jawar Police Station which registered the FIR only after the members of dalit community pressured them," he added.
In the viral video of the incident, which was reportedly shot soon after the incident by one of the villagers, the victim’s house, made of bamboo, can be seen burning while the injured and the women members of the family are wailing on the floor.
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Sunil Astay, a dalit rights activist associated with Bhim Army who had met with the family a day after the incident, said, “We met with the victims family at the hospital and found that two of them have suffered severe injuries on head. The victims also claimed that neither the injured people were treated at the government hospital for hours nor did the police register the FIR until we approached the higher officials."
Bhim Army members meet with victim Sobhal Singh's family at the hospital.
"Our team has met with the district officials and police demanding fair investigation and also shown our displeasure for not registering FIR as per complainant’s claim," he added.
He further pointed out, "Sehore is the home district of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who had called a cabinet meeting in a hotel in Sehore which was metres away from the victim's home recently but neither he, nor his ministers and MLAs took a pain to meet with the family and ensure justice."
Meanwhile the town inspector Madan Evenes said that the investigation is underway and soon the arrest will be made.
When contacted, Sehore Superintendent of Police Shailendra Chouhan said that he is unaware of the case and can't comment on it.
Taken Hostage for Refusing to Work
Nearly 400-km from Sehore, in Chhatarpur district's Rajnagar, a group of upper caste men allegedly took a dalit family including a five months pregnant woman hostage for three days and assaulted them when one of the family member refused to work at his farm on May 28.
Women members of the family who were taken hostage and assaulted by upper caste men in Rajnagar, Chattarpur district.
According to Rajnagar Police Station in-charge Pankaj Sharma, the incident took place at Badargarh village of Rajnagar locality between May 25-28 after the husband of Sonam Ahirwar refused to work at the upper caste men's farm. Irked with the denial, the accused attacked Sonam's house and took her mother-in-law and kids hostage for three days while her husband managed to escape the village.
"After the matter came to light, an FIR has been registered against three people under relevant sections of the IPC and sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and one has been arrested," said Sharma.
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