TWO WEEKS after a Dalit teen was allegedly clubbed to death by a group of upper-caste Kshatriya men, the community in Manekvada village of Kotda Sanagani taluka in Rajkot district on Wednesday submitted a memorandum to the mamlatdar, demanding strictest punishment to the accused and a committee to look into the allegations of corruption in the panchayat.
The Dalit delegation was led by Meghabhai Sondarva, grandfather of Rajesh (19) who was allegedly murdered on May 22. “Through this memorandum, we demand that those accused of murdering Nanjibhai and his son be given the strictest punishments. The accused are the same persons who are indulging in corruption and spreading terror in the village. Therefore, through your office, we convey to the state government that they should not be released on bail either,” the Dalits stated in the memorandum.
Rajesh was allegedly intercepted by the group of men from Kshatriya community near Manekvada village while he was on his way back from Rajkot city and beaten to death. Criminal Investigation Department (CID)-Crime, which is investigating Rajesh’s murder, said that the teenager was killed by the Ksahtriyas as he was trying to get the bail of one of his father’s alleged killers cancelled.
On March 9, 2018, his father Nanji was also allegedly murdered after he alleged corruption in development projects and filed RTI applications, seeking details of the projects, demanding that criminal cases be filed against a few Kashtriyas of the village. “Nanji, without caring for his life, fought till his last breath to expose these corrupts and corruption in the village. We demand that a committee be set up to investigate this corruption,” stated the memorandum. The CID-crime has so far arrested eight persons in connection with Rajesh’s murder – two of them are accused in Nanji’s murder also.
The Dalits also demanded all due government benefits to the victim’s family and sufficient police protection. “Additionally, even today, anti-social persons are roaming freely in the village. They are not afraid of the law of the land and indulge in anti-social activities almost daily. We urge your office to teach such persons lessons,” the Dalits further demanded through the memorandum.
Incidentally, Rajesh’s family had refused to claim his body, demanding government provide them residential plot at some other village and enough police protection. It was only after the resident additional collector of Rajkot gave the family a written assurance that they would be allotted a residential plot in Pardi village that they had claimed the victim’s body.