While attacks on Dalits continue to surge in the state, both in the cities and rural areas, there is lackadaisical response from the government and even political parties
Ashok Kumar | Clarion India
MUMBAI – The dastardly attacks on poor and hapless Dalits continues to rock Maharashtra, but sadly the lackadaisical response from the authorities and even most political parties is shocking.
The latest instance involved two Dalit men who were lynched by an unseemly mob earlier this month in a village in Jalna district, about 400 km from here. Rahul, 22, and Pradip, 25, from the Borade family in Panshendra village were thrashed by a large gang of people over a festering dispute. Another brother and their mother were also beaten badly and had to be hospitalised.
According to Sudhir Khiradkar, a police officer from Jalna, the Borades were attacked early in the morning on September 4 when they were heading out on work. The men who attacked them had a problem with the family, which resulted in the planned assault. The two brothers were brutally murdered, while the other sibling and the mother had to be rushed to hospital.
The police arrested more than three-dozen people in the case, but he relatives of the Borades are demanding a CBI probe into the lynching. Jalna is part of the Marathwada region in the state, and attacks on Scheduled Caste members occurs often.
“These attacks on Dalits and Muslims, both in cities and remote rural areas is increasing every day in Maharashtra,” Husain Dalwai, a senior Congress leader from the state told Clarion India on Friday. “But sadly, no one seems to take any action and even the media remains silent. They are more interested in getting quotes from Kangana Ranaut and other celebrities, instead of focussing on such killings.”
Attacks on people from the weaker communities have been happening in Maharashtra very frequently. In June, for instance, a 20-year-old Dalit youth was murdered in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Viraj Vilas Jagtap, the youth, was killed because of his relationship with a girl from an upper caste, which was not acceptable to her family and relatives. Dalit groups and social activists had demanded a high-level probe into the youth’s murder and action against the killers under the SC/ST Act.
A few weeks earlier, another Dalit youngster was brutally attacked and killed in Nagpur district. The victim, a 32-year-old activist of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, which is headed by Prakash Ambedkar (grandson of B.R. Ambedkar), was found dead under suspicious circumstances in Nagpur. Arvind Bansod, an anti-caste activist, was found dead at night with a bottle of pesticide next to him. The police claimed he had committed suicide, but following a furore, the police had to treat it as a murder and take action against some political party workers.
“Since the accused in the Arvind Bansod Murder case are related to the Home Minister @AnilDeshmukhNCP, we demand that the CBI take charge of the investigation,” tweeted Prakash Ambedkar. “The police had already tried to declare the incident as a suicide.” Sadly, the matter continues to drag on at a slow pace.