Dalit school principal in Gujarat dies by suicide after being insulted with casteist slurs

In the purported video recorded before taking the drastic step, the teacher can be heard saying that the accused was threatening and asking him to hand over the grants which he received.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)
Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

AHMEDABAD: A Dalit teacher of a government school in Amreli district of Gujarat died by suicide on Friday over facing alleged harassment and casteist remarks.

The deceased, identified as Kanti Chauhan, teaching at Juna Janjariya village in Bagasara taluka of the district, consumed poison while he was at the school, police said. He was rushed to a hospital but died during the treatment. His body was sent to Junagadh Civil Hospital for postmortem.

The teacher had recorded a video message before taking the drastic step. In the purported video, he can be heard saying,” Sarpanch has been threatening and asking me to hand over the grants which I had received. He [Sarpanch] also circulated a defamatory message about me and my caste in social media groups of villagers.”

“I come from a lower caste. I teach students. You [Sarpanch] are attempting to defame us using our caste as a weapon, which is disgraceful for you holding sarpanch post.”Anguished over the suicide and “treatment meted out by sarpanch”, members of the Dalit community gathered at Bagasra police station on Saturday morning refused to take the body and demanded the arrest of the accused.  

The situation was pacified after police booked five persons, including the sarpanch and three teachers of the school, and detained the sarpanch.“We have registered a case under section 306 [abetment of suicide] of the IPC and various sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,” J P  Bhandari, Deputy Superintendent of Police in Amreli, told the media.

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