Protesting against an incident that took place in Mulshi taluka, where a Dalit labourer was allegedly forced to eat human excreta, social activist Dr Baba Adhav on Friday said he wanted to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi if this was not a case of ‘Hindu terrorism’.
“The Prime Minister said in his speech in Wardha that there is no Hindu terrorism… A poor labourer is being made to eat human excreta by his upper caste master. We want to ask him, what should this inhuman act be called,” said Adhav. He made the statement during a protest organised by activists from different social organisations, who had gathered at the Pune District Collectorate on Friday to condemn the incident and protest the release of the accused on bail.
The alleged incident took place in Jambhe village of Mulshi taluka on March 13. The labourer, Sunil Anil Pawale (22), who is from the Scheduled Caste Matang community, had lodged a police complaint against the owner of the brick kiln, Sandip Pawar (42), his wife and his brother-in-law. The accused, who belong to an upper caste Maratha community, were arrested by Pimpri-Chinchwad Police and booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. But all three accused were released on bail days later.
To protest their release, social organisations led by Adhav on Friday submitted a memorandum to Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram. Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner R K Padmanabhan and the labour commissioner, Pune, and demanded that immediate steps should be taken by police to appeal against the bail order. The activists also sought the appointment of a special public prosecutor for the case, financial help and compensation to the victim’s family, and rehabilitating them as per provisions of the law.
The activists called the incident an “act of terror”, perpetrated by the upper caste against the poor lower-caste labourer family.
Ramesh Bagwe, head of the Congress’ Pune unit, NCP’s city chief Chetan Tupe, advocate Mohan Wadekar, activists Sanjay Dabhade and Nitin Pawar, as well as members of other Dalit groups and outfits extended their support to the protest.
Police have initiated procedure to challenge the bail granted to Pawar in the Bombay High Court.
Pawale, who hails from Osmanabad, had been working at Pawar’s brick kiln for the last two years. He and his family members lived on the premises of the brick kiln.
In his complaint, he said the incident took place on the afternoon of March 13, when he and his family members were sitting at the brick kiln after having their lunch. When Pawar asked them to start their work, an argument broke out between him and Pawale. Pawar allegedly thrashed Pawale as well as his father and abused the duo, and Pawale abused him back.
As per Pawale’s complaint, Pawar asked his wife Deepali to bring human excreta in a pot, and she did so after he threatened to hit her. Pawale claimed that Pawar asked him to eat the excreta. “I kept quiet, but he got angry and thrashed me. So, I got scared and ate some of it….”, Pawale stated in his complainant. After the incident, Pawale’s family shifted to a relative’s place.