Dalits in MP Live Under Fear and Threat After Mahabandh: Report
CPI(M) fact finding
-Hakim Singh Jatav from Jagjivan Nagar had suffered bullet injury and is in serious condition.
-Vijay Kumar Jatav from Hathikhaana suffered head injuries” and had 8 stitches on his head.
-26 year old Vimal Prakash Jatav from Simariya Tal was killed.
-In Ayodhya Colony, there are clear indications of targeting of the educated Dalit youth and the families claimed that while the perpetrators of violence were moving around scot free or charged with minor crimes the Dalit youth were charged with non-bailable sections and also for attempt to murder.
-In Dabra, the marble showroom of Kuldip Singh Maurya was destroyed and a car and two motorbikes gutted in the fire lit by the violent mobs he claimed were led by RSS and Bajrang Dal.
-Gautam Vimal aged 35 years from Gautam Nagar who is a painter by profession was hit by a bullet and undergoing treatment. His brother claimed that he was not part of any protests and was only a curious onlooker.
-Rakesh Tamptia from Bhimnagar died of bullet injuries. According to family members he was not part of the protests.
-A resident of Galla Kothat colony 29 year old Deepak Jatav who used to run a small teashop on a cart was killed in firing allegedly by Raja Singh Chauhan. He apparently had been hit by 3 bullets.
Above are excerpts from the findings of a CPI-(M) fact-finding delegation who visited Gwalior, Bhind and Morena in Madhya Pradesh on April 6 and 7, 2018. The delegation was led by K. Somaprasad, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Dr. Vijoo Krishnan, Joint Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha.
On April 2, different Dalit and progressive organisations were on the streets to observe Bharat Bandh against the Supreme Court order diluting the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. A section of the media blamed the Dalits for the violence in which 12 people, predominantly from Dalit community were killed. However, the fact-finding team found a contrary situation on the ground.
In a detailed report, the team has documented organised violence against Dalits in the aftermath of the Bharat Bandh. At the Birla Institute of Medical Research, Gwalior the families of the victims alleged that the District Hospital refused to treat the victims and hence they were forced to bring them to the private hospital and bear huge expenses. Angoori, the mother of Mahendra Singh Jatav a mason from Pinto Park, claimed that they had spent more than Rs. 50,000 in three days. The Government had not come forward to help and no officials had met them.
In the case of Vimla Prakash Jatav, the family alleged that they were not even permitted to bring the body home. 40 police vehicles stood guard to ensure that Jatav was cremated after the postmortem, the report of which was not given to the family. Instead Raja Singh Chauhan who was caught on camera firing a gun has been charged only with 308 IPC of culpable homicide not amounting to murder while the charges on Dalits have been registered under 307 IPC of attempt to murder. This caste based discrimination by police was repeated across the three districts visited by the delegation.
The upper caste favouritism continues, the report notes. A person from the upper caste was killed in Machhand in Bhind during the agitation. In this case two police personnel, both from deprived sections (one SC and one OBC) were immediately suspended from duty and also an FIR invoking IPC 302 has been filed against them. This proactive stance was absent in places where Dalits were killed.
The team observed that the Dalit colonies are in a state of fear and extreme insecurity and are still being threatened allegedly by the RSS and Bajrang Dal under police patronage. One photograph shown to the delegation was of a demolished statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar with the image of the Hindu god Hanuman superimposed to give an impression that the statue was demolished by him with Jai Shri Ram written on it.
The team has made the following recommendations:
An impartial inquiry is required to bring to book the perpetrators of the violent attacks, take action against erring officials and also look into charges that violent mobs came out of the residence of a Central Minister.
Fake cases and arrests of innocent people should be stopped forthwith
The role of the police has been questionable as they failed to protect the Dalits from attacks and also followed it up with one-sided action
A compensation of Rs.1 Crore should be announced for the families of deceased and Rs.10 Lakh for the seriously injured as well as proper medical treatment must be ensured.