Dalit panchayat member found dead, 6 of his colleagues bookedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/dalit-panchayat-member-found-dead-6-of-his-colleagues-booked-5327991/

Dalit panchayat member found dead, 6 of his colleagues booked

Police have booked six members of the panchayat in connection to the death. Mukesh, a Dalit, was also the president of the BJP SC/ST cell of Waghodia taluka, while his wife Sonal was the sarpanch.

The deceased’s family members outside a hospital in Vadodara Monday. Express

The body of a member of Rasulabad village panchayat of Waghodiya taluka, Mukesh Rohit alias Balwantbhai, was found in a farm here on Monday afternoon.

Police have booked six members of the panchayat in connection to the death. Mukesh, a Dalit, was also the president of the BJP SC/ST cell of Waghodia taluka, while his wife Sonal was the sarpanch.

According to the police, prima facie it is a case of suicide. “We have registered a case against six members of the panchayat under IPC section 306 (abetment of suicide), and under Prevention of Atrocities Act and now the investigation will be taken over by the deputy superintendent of police,” said Superintendent of Police, Vadodara rural, Tarun Duggal. An FIR was registered late on Monday night based on a complaint filed by Mukesh’s brother.

According to villagers, there were allegations of corruption against his wife and a no-confidence motion was planned against her.

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Mukesh’s uncle Morarbhai Rohit told The Indian Express: “There was a meeting scheduled to happen today (Monday) over the allegations. Rohit had left home for the meeting in the afternoon.”

Sonal was elected to the post of sarpanch a year ago and soon after problems reportedly started brewing. “After Sonal was elected, every now and then the panchayat members made allegations that both the husband and wife were swindling money. This was troubling Mukesh for a long time but we did not expect that he would take such a drastic step,” he added.

Following the incident, Mukesh’s family members along with Dalit activists gathered at Waghodia police station late in the night and created ruckus over the delay in filing of an FIR and conducting the postmortem.

The body has been sent to SSG hospital in Vadodara for postmortem, which will be conducted on Tuesday morning.

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