The father of a 28-year-old Dalit man, who was assaulted by locals in Rajasthan’s Alwar and succumbed to his injuries last month, died on Thursday, with his family claiming that he consumed poison after getting regular threats to withdraw the case from those accused of killing his son.
The family of Rattiram Jatav, 60, said that despite repeated requests, the police did not arrest the men accused of murdering his son Harish last month.
“For the past four or five days, the people who killed my brother were threatening my father… My father used to worry every day… Suddenly, he consumed some substance at home… He told me that children (of the accused) had threatened him, saying that he must withdraw the case or they will kill us,” said Jatav’s son Dinesh. He also alleged that the police had taken no action against the accused in his brother’s death.
“We are regularly making rounds of the police station but they wouldn’t listen to us and abuse us instead. We are poor people. What do we do? We demand that the people who killed my brother and threatened my mother, they should be given strictest punishment possible. Something should be done for our family as we are now left alone. My father was blind… Had the police taken action, my father wouldn’t have left us like this,” said Dinesh.
Alwar Superintendent of Police Paris Deshmukh denied the family’s allegations that the police took no action in the case.
“Whether Jatav committed suicide or not will be evident after getting the autopsy report. It is certain that he has 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 was not correct. We even changed the investigating officer to ensure a fair probe. Further investigation is going on,” Deshmukh told The Indian Express Friday.
On July 16, Harish accidentally ran his bike into a 55-year-old woman, following which he was assaulted by local residents. He later succumbed to his injuries.
After his death, his family alleged he was a victim of mob lynching but the police have said that they did not find the claim to be correct so far in the investigation.
The next day, the woman who was involved in the accident and Rattiram both filed separate complaints at the Chopanki police station.
In his complaint, Rattiram alleged that some people had assaulted Harish. Two FIRs were filed based on the complaints by both parties.
SP Deshmukh said that Rattiram’s family has now made allegations against the woman and her husband, but in the FIR, they named someone else.
Meanwhile, the Opposition BJP slammed the Congress government 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 charged under Section 302. At that time too the family had demanded the arrest and action against the guilty. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen… As I have been told by the family, the accused were threatening them. It is very unfortunate that now the father of Harish has committed suicide,” said Sanjay Sharma, BJP MLA from Alwar.
He said that cases should be lodged against negligent police officials.