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Father of Dalit man who was allegedly beaten to death in Alwar last month commits suicide, says family

Harish had succumbed to his injuries after he was assaulted by a group of locals for accidentally running his bike into a 55-year-old woman, his relatives said.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur | Updated: August 16, 2019 1:37:20 pm
Rajasthan lynching, Ashok Gehlot, Alwar, Harish Jatav, Rajasthan bike accident, mob lynchings, India mob lynchings, rajasthan news, India news, Indian Express Relatives of deceased Rattiram Jatav with the police in Alwar. (Video screengrab)

The father of a 28-year-old Dalit man, who died last month after being allegedly assaulted by locals in Alwar, passed away on Thursday, with his family claiming that he committed suicide by consuming poison after getting regular threats to withdraw the case.

The family of Rattiram Jatav, 60, said that despite repeated requests, police had failed to arrest those accused of murdering his son Harish last month.

Harish had succumbed to injuries after he was assaulted by a group of locals for accidentally running his bike into a 55-year-old woman, his relatives said.

While Harish’s family claimed he was a victim of mob lynching, police said they didn’t find the claim to be true during the course of the investigation.

“For the past four-five days, the people who killed my brother were threatening my father. Their names are Jamaluddin and his wife’s name is Hakeeman. My father was worried. He suddenly consumed some substance at home. He told me that Jamaluddin’s children had threatened him, saying that either he withdraws the case or they will kill us,” Jatav’s son-in-law Dinesh said.

Dinesh also alleged police inaction against the accused in the case of Harish’s murder.

“We made regular rounds of the police station but they did not listen to us and abused us instead. We are poor people. What do we do? We demand that the people who killed my brother and threatened my mother should be given strictest punishment. Something should be done for our family as we are now left on our own. My father was blind. Had the police taken some action, my father wouldn’t have left us like this,” Dinesh said.

In July, Harish was on his way back from Bhiwadi when he met with an accident in Phalsa village with Hakeeman, 55, who was crossing the road. Harish, who was alone on his bike, fell down and the woman too sustained injuries, officials said.

According to the police, on July 17, Hakeeman as well as Rattiram, Harish’s father, submitted separate complaints at Chopanki police station into the accident. In his complaint, Rattiram alleged that some people had assaulted Harish.

Rattiram also named one Umar Sher, a contractor, among others, as the accused. Hakeeman’s husband Jamaluddin, 65, too filed a complaint against Harish, accusing him of driving fast.

Following that, two FIRs were filed based on the complaint by both parties.

Alwar superintendent of police Paris Deshmukh refuted the family’s allegations that the police took no action in the case.

“Whether Jatav has committed suicide or not will be evident after getting the post-mortem report. It is certain that he died but only after seeing the post-mortem report, we will be clear about the cause of death. Prima facie, during the investigation, we found that the family’s claim of mob lynching wasn’t correct. We even changed the investigating officer to ensure a fair probe. Further investigation is going on,” Deshmukh told The Indian Express on Friday.

Deshmukh added that the family is now making a verbal allegation against Jamaluddin and Hakeeman. However, they had named someone else while filing an FIR’s in Harish’s death case, he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP has slammed the government and administration over the incident.

“The youth was killed by members of a certain community. Even in the beginning, the police wanted to portray the incident as an accident. After the issue was raised, an IG level officer had investigated and the case was changed under Section 302. At that time too, the family had demanded the arrest and action against the guilty. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I have been told by the family, the accused were threatening them. It is very unfortunate that the father of Harish has committed suicide,” BJP MLA from Alwar Sanjay Sharma said.

The BJP legislator added that the party is with the family and cases should be lodged against negligent police officials.

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