Three Dalit boys in Jalgaon district’s Vakadi village were allegedly stripped, beaten and paraded naked for swimming in a village well. The incident, which took place on June 10, came to light after a video of it went viral. Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice Dilip Kamble said, “Two persons have already been arrested. An investigation is under way.”
State Minister for Revenue Chandrakant Patil assured action under the SC/ST Act. “Such incidents cannot be tolerated,” he said.
Union Social Welfare Minister Ramdas Athawale condemned the incident. “The government should take strict against against those responsible for subjecting the boys to such atrocities.”
The Dalit boys were swimming in the well to beat the summer heat. Police said this upset villagers, who allegedly pulled them out, stripped and paraded them. They were allegedly beaten with leather belts, police added. The boys’ families have lodged police complaints.
Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan and former state minister Laxman Dhobale condemned the incident and demanded stringent action against the accused. In a statement issued here, Chavan said, “Atrocities against Dalits have increased after the BJP came to power. Several instances of attacks against Dalits across states have been reported. The government is not doing enough to act against those who are attacking Dalits.”
A delegation from the state Congress will visit the village on Friday.