Seventeen-year-old Dalit boy was shot dead in an Uttar Pradesh village on Saturday night five days after he had prayed at a local temple defying upper-caste objections, The Telegraph reported.
Vikas Kumar Jatav was shot by four youths from an upper caste family at his home, his father Om Prakash Jatav told reporters on Sunday.
The boy shot dead died from a bullet wound to the chest, Dainik Jagran reported.
Jatav, a farmer told media that his son had on June 1 visited a Shiv temple at their village of Domkhera in Amroha district in Uttar Pradesh.
“Some people, including Horam Chauhan, a youth from an affluent upper-caste family, tried to stop my son from entering the temple on the ground of his Jatav identity. But Vikar ignored them and offered prayers there,” Om Prakash said.
After Vikas had finished praying, several upper-caste villagers thrashed him.
Vikas’s family approached the police at the time but the police refused to register an FIR.
“On Saturday night, Horam and three other youths from his family arrived at our home and dragged Vikas out. One of them shot him with a revolver and they all ran away,” father said.
Police denying casteism
According to The Telegraph report, Niraj Kumar, an officer in charge of the local police station, said the primary investigation didn’t suggest any dispute relating to a temple or untouchability.
“Our investigation suggests the victim, the killer, and other youths were playing in a field seven days ago when a fight broke out between them,” he said.
“We have registered a case against four people from a family on the basis of the father’s complaint and are investigating,” Vipin Tada, Amroha superintendent of police, said. The accused have been charged with murder and violation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Govt should take strict action: Mayawati
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has demanded strict action against the culprits behind the murder of Dalit youth.
“The persecution of Dalits, especially during the Corona epidemic, is still continuing. The latest example being the incident of Domkheda village of Amroha in UP where some feudal elements brutally murdered a Dalit. The government should take strict action against the culprits and provide justice to the victim’s family and help them fully,” BSP chief said in a Twitter.
BSP MP Kunwar Danish Ali, former BSP district president Hem Singh Arya, former BSP candidate Jaidev Singh from Naogaon Sadat assembly constituency and Ambedkar Vikas Manch president Mahendra Singh Arya visited Vikas’s home on Sunday.
“So shocked and disturbed to see the killing of innocent Dalit youth from my constituency. Powerful people from the upper caste are not ready to rise above d feudal mindset. Killing a Dalit on the issue of entering a temple is a just game for them. Culprits must be punished! ,” Danish Ali said.
The leaders criticized police inaction and demanded immediate action against all culprits.