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Dalit boy's death: Pilot critical of Gehlot govt; 12 councillors quit

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
August 16, 2022 23:34 IST
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In veiled criticism of the Ashok Gehlot government on Tuesday, Congress leader Sachin Pilot called for zero tolerance to incidents like the recent killing of a Dalit boy and called for action against local officials for an alleged lathi-charge on the victim's family.

IMAGE: Congress leader Sachin Pilot. Photograph: ANI Photo

"We will have to instill confidence among Dalits that we stand with them. There is no other option. The government should work on the shortcomings to change the system," he said after visiting the victim's family.

Nine-year-old Indra Meghwal died on Saturday, nearly three weeks after being allegedly beaten up by a teacher for touching a water pot used by the upper caste at his school in Surana village in Jalore district.

 

The teacher, Chail Singh, has been arrested and the state's Congress government is taking action against the private school as well. But it remains under flak over the incident.

Pilot, a former deputy chief minister who staged a rebellion against CM Gehlot in 2020, visited the family with a group of local leaders.

"Such discrimination is taking place in our system even after 75 years of independence. This is a matter of self-introspection for all of us," he told reporters after the visit.

"His death raises several questions," the Congress leader added.

He also recalled the murder of a Dalit man's in Pali in March, allegedly for sporting a moustache.

He said the child's body was buried during the night and the family members have alleged that police lathi-charged them.

"They are naming the SDM and Deputy SP and immediate action should be taken against them," he added.

Pilot said it is not appropriate to say that such incidents happen in other states as well.

"There should be zero tolerance to such incidents. We should not wait for the next incident to take action. We have to take steps to defeat such ideology. No one can escape after committing atrocities on Dalits," he said.

The former deputy CM said there should be fear of the law and a feeling of confidence needs to be instilled among Dalits.

Pilot said the child cannot be brought back to life 'but an example can be set'.

He said the child's family is scared and the government should ensure their security.

He said one should speak against injustice wherever it is found.

He was accompanied by Rajasthan Forest Minister Hemaram Choudhary, party MLA Ramniwas Gawriya and other local leaders.

Earlier, Pilot was welcomed by party workers at Jodhpur airport, on his way to Jalore.

He told reporters there that only laws and speeches are not enough but a strong message has to be sent to gain the trust of the Dalit community.

"Such incidents need to be strongly condemned. We need to put a check on such incidents," he said, calling for strong action.

School to lose affiliation

Rajasthan education minister B D Kalla on Tuesday said that the government was in the process of terminating the affiliation of the private school where the incident happened.

The minister told reporters in Bikaner, "The affiliation of the school is being terminated. At the same time, an advisory will be issued so that no such incident occurs in the future."

12 Baran Cong councillors send resignation letters to Gehlot

Meanwhile, 12 Congress councillors in the Baran Municipal Council on Tuesday sent their resignation letters to Chief Minister Gehlot, expressing anguish over atrocities against the Dalits and backing party MLA Pana Chand Meghwal.

The Baran-Atru MLA on Monday had sent his resignation letter to Gehlot, two days after the death of the nine-year-old Dalit boy.

Meanwhile, political leaders made a beeline for the boy's home in Jalore's Surana village.

State Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra visited the boy's home with Women and Child Welfare Minister Mamta Bhupesh, PWD Minister Bhajan Lal Jatav and Disaster Management and Relief Minister Govind Ram Meghwal.

He announced a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the family from the party fund and promise a speedy trial.

Backing MLA Meghwal's move, 12 of the 25 Congress councillors in the Baran civic body expressed anguish over atrocities against the Dalits and deprived sections.

Ward No. 29 councillor Yogendra Mehta said they sent their resignation letters in support of the MLA and against the government's failure to protect the Dalits.

The other councillors who sent their resignation letters are Rohitashva Saxena, Rajaram Meena, Rekha Meena, Leeladhar Nagar, Hariraj Erwal, Piyush Soni, Urvashi Meghwal, Yashwant Yadav, Anwar Ali, Jyoti Jatav and Mayank Mathodia, he said.

They will submit copies of their resignation letters to the Kota divisional commissioner on Wednesday, Mehta added.

Nominated councillor of the Kota's Itawa civic body Suresh Mahawar also sent his resignation letter to the chief minister.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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