BHOPAL: A day after a 64-year-old Dalit farmer Kishorilal Jatav was allegedly burnt alive by four Yadav men, including an alleged ruling BJP worker in a village on the outskirts of Bhopal, a special investigation team (SIT) of district police was constituted on Friday to probe the entire case from all possible angles.
The SIT will be headed by additional SP Sanjay Sahu and probe all possible angles pertaining to the case. The SIT probe will be under continuous monitoring of DIG-Bhopal Dharmendra Chaudhary and the SP-Bhopal North Hemant Chauhan.
All four men, including an alleged ruling BJP worker Tiran Singh Yadav, his son Prakash, and relatives Sanju and Balbir, who are accused of burning Jatav alive in Parseria-Ghatkhedi village (70 km from Bhopal district headquarters) on Thursday were arrested within 12 hours of the incident by the Berasia police. They have been booked under Sections 302, 447 and 34 of IPC, besides provisions of SC/ST Act.
The elderly farmer Kishorilal Jatav was allegedly burnt alive by the four men at around 9 am on Thursday before his helpless wife, when he tried to stop the four Yadav men from ploughing the agricultural plot allotted to his family.
While two of the accused caught hold of Jatav after allegedly beating him badly, the two others poured petrol on him before setting him ablaze. He was rushed by kin and neighbours in a Dial 100 police vehicle to the hospital where he died during course of treatment.
“All four accused have been arrested and the SIT constituted to probe the entire case will now investigate all issues related to the matter,” said SP (Bhopal North) Hemant Chauhan.
Police force in strength has been deployed in the village to prevent any confrontation between the Dalits and Yadavs.
Police will probe all possible angles in the case, including the remote possibility of the incident not being a murder, but instead a suicide.
Primary investigation based on the statements of the deceased farmer’s kin have revealed that the agricultural plot was allotted to Jatav by the government in 2003, but owing to pendency of demarcation of plot by the Berasia teshil’s revenue staff, a land feud was existing since a long time between the Yadav family and Jatav’s family since last many years.
“My father often went to the Berasia tehsil for getting the demarcation done, but the concerned patwari didn’t help our cause under pressure from the Yadav family, owing to which we could not cultivate anything on our own land,” said deceased farmer’s daughter Kishan Bai.
Meanwhile, a Congress delegation led by state party’s working president Surendra Choudhary (also a Dalit leader) and including among others Bhopal Rural Congress Committee district president Arun Srivastava went to the concerned village and met the members of the Jatav family on Friday.
According to state Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi the interaction with the bereaved family has revealed that with the head of the Yadav family, Tiran Singh Yadav being a local BJP leader, all requests by the Jatav family at the Berasia teshil for demarcation of the land had not been attended for long. Owing to it Yadav family had captured the entire land belonging to Jatav.
The ruling BJP MLA from Berasia assembly segment Vishnu Khatri slammed the Congress for playing politics on the issue. “There are 9 crore primary members in the BJP nationally and if one of them is allegedly accused in the crime, it doesn’t mean that entire party is behind the episode. The police has acted swiftly in the matter and arrested all four accused, including Tiran Singh Yadav,” Khatri told The New Indian Express over phone.
Khatri added that had met with the district administration officials earlier in the day and paved the passage for the bereaved family getting the first installment of compensation worth Rs 4.12 lakh under the Protection of Atrocities Against the SC/ST Act within the next few days. “The entire compensation of Rs 8.25 lakh will be paid to the family after the charge-sheet is filed by the police in the case,” he said.