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Gehlot says BJP MLA also questioned Jalore Dalit family’s ‘water pot’ claim; announces Rs 20L payout

After meeting the Congress’s Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani in Ahmedabad, the Rajasthan CM says the compensation is being given on Rahul Gandhi’s directions.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (File)

After meeting Gujarat Congress working president and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani in Ahmedabad on Thursday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced Rs 20 lakh in further compensation for the family of the boy who died after allegedly being thrashed by his upper-caste teacher at Jalore in his state.

“The entire country is pained by the death of a nine-year-old innocent child in Jalore. I met MLA Jignesh Mevani in Ahmedabad and had a discussion with him. All communities are with the victim’s family in their moment of grief. After the incident, the accused was arrested immediately. A relief amount was provided to the family under the SC/ST Act and from the CM relief fund. Additionally, as per directions of the All India Congress Committee, the victim’s family will be given an assistance of Rs 20 lakh from the Pradesh Congress Committee. Regarding providing employment to one member of the victim’s family, old cases of this nature are being examined,” Gehlot wrote in a series of tweets after meeting Mevani.

Initially, the chief minister had announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the victim’s family.

Gehlot, who arrived in Vadodara on Wednesday after being appointed senior Congress observer for Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections, fielded questions on the law and order situation in Rajasthan at a press conference at Paldi in Ahmedabad on Thursday. He said the local BJP MLA from Jalore had also questioned the claim of the boy’s family that he had been thrashed after mistakenly drinking water from an earthen pot meant for the teacher, Chail Singh.

“The accused teacher was the owner of the school and his official or unofficial partner in the school was a person from a Scheduled Caste. Over 40 children belonging to the SC community study in that school. I would not like to comment on the ongoing investigation, but two local leaders—a former Congress MLA and a current BJP MLA—are raising questions on the entire debate that the child was not allowed to drink water from the pot. You understand how an issue becomes viral in the age of information technology and reaches national and international media,” he said.

The senior Congress leader said that such incidents had happened at Una in Gujarat as well as in Uttar Pradesh. “These incidents happen everywhere, but ours is a government that has taken immediate action with the arrest of the accused and the appointment of an ADG-level officer in the case.

“On the directive of Rahul Gandhi, we are also providing further financial assistance to the victim’s family. Rajasthan is the only state in India where we have made it compulsory for local police stations to lodge an FIR. Earlier, poor people were turned away, but now they do not need to approach the office of the superintendent of police anymore. The state of law and order in Rajasthan is better than that in other states,” said Gehlot.

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Earlier, in his meeting with the Rajasthan chief minister, Mevani demanded strict action against the schoolteacher.

First published on: 18-08-2022 at 12:15:03 pm
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