Dalit Village 'Pradhan' Shot Dead by Upper Castes in UP's Azamgarh, Upper Castes Leave The Village Due To Fear Of Reprisals
Arshad Afzaal Khan | India Tomorrow
LUCKNOW, AUGUST 16— In increasing incidents of attack on Dalits and OBCs in East UP’s Azamgarh district, a Dalit village ‘Pradhan’ of Bansgaon was shot dead by members of the upper castes involving Thakurs and Brahmins.
The incident happened on August 14 evening. The deceased has been identified as Satyamev Jayate alias
Following the incident, the Dalit villagers, who are in majority, not only attacked the house of one of the suspects who happens to belong to the Thakur caste but also attacked the nearby police outpost and damaged several police vehicles as an eight year old Dalit boy-Sooraj-was crushed allegedly under the wheels of a police jeep that came to control the situation and opened several rounds of fire in which no one was injured.
Heavy police deployment has been made in the village to control the situation and maintain law and order. According to another account, the boy was killed due to a stampede.
Meanwhile, two police personnel-Inspector Sanjay Kumar and the Bongaria police outpost in-charge Shiv Bhajan-have been suspended. The upper castes-Thakurs and Brahmins-have locked their houses and escaped owing to fear of retaliation by Dalits and arrest by police. Azamgarh Superintendent of Police Triveni Singh said, “we have suspended the two police personnel”.
The police have booked an FIR against four persons, namely, Vivek Singh alias Bholu, Suryansh Kumar Dubey, Brijender Singh alias Gappu Singh and Wasim. They are all absconding.
One of the Pradhan’s relative Lincoln told mediapersons that Thakurs and Brahmins did not like Satyamev as he never toed the line of the upper castes and always took independent decision with regard to the village work and also walked with his head held high, This, he said, was not liked by the upper castes and it resulted into his murder.
“The upper castes could not bear a Dalit saying no to their suggestions”, said Lincoln. Out of over 400 houses in the village, there are only 60 houses belonging to Thakurs and Brahmins. Many of the Dalits hold higher education degrees and holding good posts in government department and this had further added to the upper castes jealousy against them.
According to Satyamev’s wife Munni Devi, Vivek Singh came to their house on Friday evening and took Satyamev on the pretext of some work to his farm on the outskirts of the village where the four accused persons had gathered. Satyamev was shot dead at Vivek Singh there.
After the murder, the four came to the house of Satyamev and told his mother that her son’s body was lying in his farm and she could collect it from there. They also made casteist slurs against her.
Azamgarh Divisional Commissioner Vijay Vishwas Pant has announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the dead as provided under SC/ST Act.
Former UP chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati has strongly condemned the murder of the Dalit Pradhan and said there was no difference between BJP and Samajwadi Party governments as far as atrocities against Dalits are concerned.
Meanwhile, the state government has invoked the stringent Goonda Act, Gangsters Act and National Security Act against the accused persons and announced a reward of Rs. 25,000 to any one who gives information regarding whereabouts of the accused.