For the family of 18-year-old Rahul, a daylong search for him ended in a mortuary. Rahul had received two bullet injuries in the chest when BSF and police personnel opened fire on February 19. The wait for the body, however, continues as doctors are yet to conduct the postmortem in the absence of police.
Rahul was one of three brothers from an agriculturist Jat family of Madina village in Rohtak. A second-year BA student at Jat College, he was among the protesting students outside Maharishi Dayanand University, seeking reservation.
Pramod Dangi, the eldest of the brothers, says they got to know about the protest and firing that took place near the Delhi bypass from other people. “I tried contacting my brother but failed to do so. I came to Rohtak and kept looking everywhere for him. Then, someone told me there were some bodies at the mortuary in PGIMS. I came and checked and found his body here,” says Pramod.
The tragedy did not end here for the family. While Pramod wanted to take Rahul’s body home for cremation, he was told by hospital authorities that the body cannot be released without a postmortem, which was not possible as the police personnel were not available.
“The action by the police was unjust. They should not have fired on the students. The demand for Jat reservation is justified. The condition of Jats over the years has deteriorated. Landholdings have become small. The protesters were only fighting for their rights,” said Pramod.
The family owns two and a half acres of land. Pramod says income from the land is dwindling. He said, “This season’s paddy crop was damaged. The crop before this also did not do well. Agriculture is now a loss -making venture.”
The family wants the government to punish those responsible for the death, announce monetary compensation and government job to one of the brothers.