The father of a dalit boy, who had died after a mob had allegedly assaulted him, reportedly died after consuming poisonous substance on Thursday, August 15. The family members of the deceased Ratti Lal Jatav alleged that he committed suicide after the accused in the matter mounted pressure for withdrawing the case. They said that the accused were not arrested even after repeated requests from the family.
"For the past four or five days, the people who killed my brother were threatening my father. My father used to worry every day. Suddenly, he consumed some substance at home. He told me that children (of the accused) had threatened him, saying that he must withdraw the case or they will kill us,” his son Dileep told the Indian Express.
He added that his father who was blind, was under extreme pressure and the incident could have been avoided had the police taken any action.
The latest tragedy to the family comes days after the son succumbed to injuries sustained during an alleged assault by few people from another community. On July 13, Harish accidentally ran his motorcycle into a lady following which he was beaten by the local residents. After Harish’s death, his family and the injured lady filed criminal cases against each other.
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However, police officials denied mob lynching in the case. Suprintendent of Police Paris Desmukh said, “Whether Jatav committed suicide or not will be evident after getting the autopsy report. Prima facie, during the investigation, we found that the family’s claim of mob lynching was not correct. We even changed the investigating officer to ensure a fair probe. Further investigation is going on."
With the rage growing against the inaction of police, the incident has been given a communal colour by local Hindu extremist organisations. Dharamendra Jatav, a prominent dalit activist told NewsClick that the colouring of the accident in communal shades is wrong and must be condemned but the entire fiasco happened only because the police failed to execute its duties. He said, “I fail to understand why police is denying mob lynching whereas the FIR clearly names the accused. Historically, dalits have been the worst victims of mob lynching in Rajasthan and the Alwar incident clearly shows this trend."
The words of Dharamendra Jatav also reflects the data by National Crime Records Bureau placing Rajasthan second in number of atrocities against dalits, only after Madhya Pradesh. According to the NCRB, 5,134 cases of crime against scheduled castes were reported in 2016 while 5,911 cases were reported in 2015 and 6,735 cases had been reported in 2014. A report by Pairvi, a non government organisation working for the dalit rights noted, “Dalits suffer from different atrocities like rape, physical assault, murder, kidnapping, mass attack, molestation etc. Interestingly, out of 20 districts, Jaipur and Alwar registered the highest number of crimes against dalits.”