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The police in MP have charged nine people with murder, and three people have been charged under the SC/ST Act | Representational image

Dalit atrocities: Teen killed, mother stripped in MP; 4 hung upside down in Maharashtra

An 18-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly lynched by a mob in Madhya Pradesh, while four Dalit men were hung upside down and beaten with sticks in Maharashtra

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There seems to be no let-up in atrocities against Dalits. Two shocking incidents came to light on Monday (August 28) from different states of the country. In Madhya Pradesh, an 18-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly lynched by a mob and his mother stripped naked, while in Maharashtra, four Dalit men were allegedly hung upside down from a tree and beaten with sticks because they were suspected of stealing a goat and some pigeons.

In Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district, the 18-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly killed by the mob because his sister had filed a a sexual harassment case in 2019. The mob also beat up his sister and stripped their mother naked when she attempted to save her son from the brutal attacks. When the police arrived, they gave her a towel to cover herself, until they got her a saree.

The crazed mob also ransacked and damaged their home, leaving nothing intact, including the pucca roof. They even went searching for the woman’s other two sons before barging into the home of the victim’s aunt and threatening her family as well.

The police have charged nine people with murder, and three people have been charged under the SC/ST Act. Eight people have been arrested, said the police.

The victim’s sister said some people in the village had been trying to force her to withdraw the sexual harassment case she had filed four years ago against four men, accusing them of threatening and beating her. The police said the four accused in the case had been arrested, and the case was now in the courts.

A strong police force has been stationed at the village, but the situation remained tense.

After the district collector assured the victim’s family that they would receive help under various government schemes, and also told them about the arrests that were made by the police, the family performed the final rites for the murdered boy.

Opposition slams BJP govt

The Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party assailed Madhya Pradesh’s BJP government for the atrocity against an innocent Dalit family.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said oppression against Dalits and tribals in the state had continued unabated, and that Madhya Pradesh had the highest rate of crimes against Dalits. He accused the BJP of making the state a "laboratory of atrocities against Dalits".

State Congress chief Kamal Nath demanded that the government financially assist the victim’s family, and also claimed that the accused in the crime had links with the ruling BJP.

The BJP responded that the authorities had taken prompt action and accused the Congress of taking a selective approach with regard to crimes. One of the MP ministers said the crime was the fallout of a dispute.

Madhya Pradesh is bound for elections at the end of this year.

4 Dalits hung upside down in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra incident was reported from a village in Ahmednagar district, where four Dalit men were allegedly hung upside down from a tree and beaten with sticks by six persons because they suspected them of stealing a goat and some pigeons, said the police on Sunday (August 27).

On Friday (August 25), six people from Haregaon village of Shrirampur taluka allegedly grabbed four Dalit men in their twenties from their homes, hung them upside down from a tree, and beat them with sticks.

The incident came to light when a video, reportedly taken by one of the accused, spread on social media, after which the police arrested one person on Saturday (August 26). An officer said that five other accused were absconding.

The police have identified the six accused as Pappu Parkhe, Raju Borage, Yuvraj Galande, Deepak Gaikwad, Manoj Bodake, and Durgesh Vaidya.

The injured Dalit men were treated in a nearby hospital, and one of the victims, Shubham Magade, lodged a complaint with the police. A case under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 364 (kidnapping) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been registered, said an official.

‘Blot on humanity’

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said the attack was a blot on humanity, and was the result of the hate being spread by the BJP for political gains. He demanded that all the accused be arrested at once, and that they be given strict punishment.

Mahesh Tapase, the chief spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) accused the state government of failure in protecting Dalits and in safeguarding their self-respect.

A shutdown was observed in Haregaon village on Sunday (August 27) in protest against the incident.

(With agency inputs)

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