BHOPAL: In a shocking incident, a minor Dalit student was forced to pick up her excreta after defecating in the open by an upper caste man in Gudhara village under Luvkush Nagar police station in Chhatarpur district. The incident exposes the evils of casteism that prevail in Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region.
The six-year old girl who studies in a government primary school took permission from her teacher during lunch break to attend nature’s call. She then defecated in the open near the school’s extra room.
The owner of the plot neighbouring the school, Pappu Singh Thakur, spotted her and subsequently forced her to dispose of the excreta elsewhere, Luvkush Nagar SHO Z Khan told the New Indian Express on Tuesday.
“On returning to the classroom after the break, the girl narrated the episode to the class teacher and subsequently the matter came reached the minor’s family,” said Khan. The girl’s grandfather Natthu Ahirwar went to Pappu Singh Thakur’s house and raised the matter. “Pappu Thakur, while justifying his act told us that since we were Dalits, he had done the right thing with our daughter. He also drove us away threatening us with dire consequences, leaving us with no option but to report the matter to police,” said Natthu Ahirwar.
According to Luvkush Nagar police station in-charge Z Khan, acting on the complaint of the girl’s family, a case was lodged against Pappu Singh Thakur under IPC Sections 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), besides under the provisions of Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “The case is being investigated and the accused is yet to be arrested,” said Khan. Incidents of cruel caste discrimination have been regularly reported from districts of Bundelkhand, including Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh and Tikamgarh.
Recently, a Dalit couple was attacked by an upper caste father-son duo, allegedly after the couple refused to give metallic hooks to carry buckets of water on a motorbike in Sagar district. The Dalit woman sustained severe wounds on her nose. Incidents of caste discrimination have been regularly reported from districts of MP like Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh and Tikamgarh. In March 2016, a nine-year-old Dalit boy in Damoh drowned in a well while trying to draw water after being denied access to the hand-pump in his school.
Madhya Pradesh among the top in crimes against SCs
According to NCRB 2015, 40,300 cases of atrocities against SCs were recorded in India. Madhya Pradesh figured among the four states with highest number of incidents with 3,294 such cases.