In yet another case of Dalit atrocity, three minor Dalit boys were stripped, beaten and paraded nude in a village in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, for allegedly swimming in a village well. Officials said that the incident took place on June 10 (Sunday). However, it came to light only after some videos of the whole incident in Vakadi village went viral, throwing authorities into a tizzy.
So far two persons have been arrested in this connection and further investigations are underway, Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dilip Kamble told media persons.
Meanwhile, Union Social Welfare Minister Ramdas Athawale had condemned the incident and demanded “stringent action against the perpetrators of the atrocity on the boys”.
On Sunday, the three young boys, aged around 12-14, jumped into a village well to escape the heat. Angry locals gathered around the well after they came to know about it. They pulled the boys out, hurling abuses and later paraded them naked in the village. Reportedly, the perpetrators were from upper caste.
In the video that went viral, the boys can be seen wearing only sandals and some tree leaves. The can be seen pleading as a person whips them on the legs and back with sticks.
Although the families of the boys were reluctant to lodge a complaint of the incident but they gave in after much cajoling. They are said to be under intense pressures from some influential villagers to backtrack, though.
Several Dalit and political leaders from the opposition Congress and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, including ex-minister Eknath Khadse, Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani, have condemned the incident and demanded that the culprits be booked under the SC/ST Act.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and former state Minister Laxman Dhoble, terming the incident as unfortunate, said that such incidents are on the rise in recent times and the matter has also been discussed in Parliament.
-With inputs from IANS