THE FAMILY of the 16-year-old boy who died Wednesday during an agitation by a Dalit group in Nanded claimed that he had been cane-charged by the police who were trying to rein in the protesters. The police have, however, claimed Yogesh Jadhav died after he was trampled upon by the mob, which was trying to flee after spotting a police van.
The group was staging a demonstration near Tamsa police station in Nanded in Marathwada region in response to a state-wide bandh call given by Dalit groups.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Yogesh’s father Pralhad Jadhav said his son was returning home after taking his Class X prelims. Jadhav attended a zilla parishad school in Haatgaon village.
“My son was a Class X student and he had his English exam Wednesday. Around 1.30 pm, he was passing through a chowk while returning home after writing his exam, when a contingent of the State Reserved Police Force (SRPF) started lathicharge on the protesters who had gathered near the chowk. My son had nothing to do with the protest…but the SRPF men didn’t spare him and hit him on his head and neck, due to which my child collapsed,” Jadhav said.
He added that more policemen arrived at the scene in the mean time and started lathicharge on another set of protesters gathered a few metres away. Due the chaos, Jadhav said, the protesters started running helter skelter even as his son lay on the ground.
“We rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead on arrival,” he said.
While the Jadhavs refused to cremate the body of Yogesh Wednesday, they performed the final rites Thursday after a post-mortem was conducted. The police video-recorded the post-mortem.
The police, however, have a different narrative. “Around 20-25 protesters had gathered near the police station but after spotting a police van they tried to disperse and started running. The boy fell and was crushed under the mob. He was rushed to a local hospital but was declared dead,” said a senior police officer.
Jadhav is survived by his parents and an elder brother.