In a case reported from Uttarakhand, a 23-year-old Dalit man in Tehri district succumbed to injuries on Sunday after he was thrashed allegedly by upper caste people for daring to sit near them and have food at a wedding function. The deceased was identified as Jitendra Das and his family alleged that he was attacked by upper-class people in Nainbagh tehsil on April 26. After the attack, Das was immediately rushed to a local hospital and subsequently, he was referred to Shri Mahant Indiresh Hospital on April 28 where he died on Sunday.
According to a report, after Das’s death, his relatives and villagers sat on a protest outside the Coronation Hospital where Das’s body was taken for post-mortem. Meanwhile, Pooja Das, deceased’s sister said that the wedding function where the incident took place was a Dalit wedding.
Pooja further said that it was their cousin’s wedding and her brother made the mistake that he took food from the same counter from where upper caste people were eating. He then sat on a chair next to them, which infuriated the upper caste men. The deceased was the sole earning member of the family and the grieving family members asked, what will we do now?Pooja added that the accused are threatening them to withdraw the registered case. Meanwhile, on Sunday a large police contingent was deployed at the protest site. Around 50 villagers threatened to march to the Chief Minister’s office to seek justice for the deceased.
One of the panchayat members, Sandeep Khana said that the police took a lot of time to register the crime and no arrest has been made till now even when the accused had been booked under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
Uttam Singh, Circle officer, Narendra Nagar told TOI that the victim’s kin had filed a complaint and seven people have been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code and SC/ST Atrocities Act. Dehradun Senior Superintendent of Police, Nivedita Kukreti added, they are trying to keep the situation under control and the police are cooperating with the kin.