Rajasthan Dalit Boy Death: Congress MLA Sends Resignation To CM Ashok Gehlot Over Atrocities Against Dalits

A nine-year-old Dalit boy died on Saturday after his teacher last month assaulted him over drinking from a pot meant for upper castes.

MLA Pana Chand Meghwal has resigned over alleged atrocities against Dalits in Rajasthan

Two days after a Dalit boy died after being assaulted by his teacher, Congress MLA Pana Chand Meghwal on Monday sent his resignation to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying he does not have the right to be a lawmaker if he cannot protect his own community. 

The nine-year-old Dalit boy was last month beaten by his teacher after he drank from an earthen pot meant for upper castes. The boy was hospitalised, first in Jalore and Jodhpur and then in Gujarat's Ahmedabad. He succumbed to injuries on Saturday. 

"When we fail to protect the rights of our community, we have no right to remain in the post. After listening to my inner voice, I resign from the post of MLA so that I can serve the community without any position," said Meghwal, the Baran-Atru MLA, in his resignation letter.

He said even though the country is celebrating 75 years of Independence, atrocities against Dalits and the other deprived classes continue.

"I am hurt looking at the atrocities. I cannot express my pain in words (at) the way my community is being tortured," said Meghwal.

Dalits are being killed for drinking water from a pot, sporting a moustache or riding a mare during a wedding, said Meghwal, adding that the judicial process is stalled and case files are passed from one table to the other. He further said that cases of atrocities against Dalits have been on the rise in the last few years and tt seems there is no one to protect the rights granted to Dalits by the Constitution.

"In most of the cases lodged by Dalits, the police submit the final report. I have raised such cases in the state assembly many times but no action was taken by the police," rued Meghwal.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission (RSHRC) took suo moto cognisance of the death of the Dalit boy in Jalore and issued notices to the district collector and the superintendent of police. The RSHRC asked them to submit reports on the matter on August 26.

RSHRC chairman Justice G K Vyas and registrar will visit Jalore on Tuesday.

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission chairman Khiladi Lal Bairwa arrived in Jalore on Monday.

The accused teacher, Chail Singh, 40, has been arrested. The state government has announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh for the victim's family.

Outlook on Monday reported tha Singh has been charged with murder and sections of the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.  

"My son, a student at Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Jalore, a private school, in third class, was beaten up by his teacher Chail Singh because he drank water from an earthen pot meant for upper castes. The teacher abused my son and hit him on eyes and ears and abused him with casteist slurs," said Dewaram  Meghwal, father of the boy, to Outlook.

He further said, "My son would have been alive today had he known that the pot he is drinking water from was meant for the upper castes. He wanted to quench his thirst but he lost his life instead. He was killed because of the prevailing caste discrimination."

Earlier, Gehlot took cognizance of the incident and assure timely justice.

“The death of a student due to being beaten by teacher in Rajasthan's Sayla Police Station limits is unfortunate. The accused teacher has been arrested and has been charged with murder and SC/ST Act,” said Gehlot on Twitter in Hindi.

He added, “The case has been taken under case officer scheme to process it quickly and for early punishment of the guilty. Justice at the earliest will be ensured to the bereaved family. The diseased boy’s family will be given Rs 5 lakh from the CM Relief Fund.”

(With PTI inputs)