Rahul slams BJP over stripping, beating of Dalit boys

 Rahul Gandhi

 As the Jamner incident of attrocities against three lower-caste boys snowballed into a big issue in Maharashtra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday blamed the BJP and the RSS for spreading hate and poison.

"If we don’t raise our voices against this politics of hate and poison of the 'manuvad' of the BJP and the RSS, history will not forgive us," Gandhi tweeted. "The sole crime of these Dalit children was they were taking a dip in a 'savarna' well . Humanity is struggling to save its dignity," he said.

Though the incident at Wakadi village in Jamner taluka of Jalgaon district in north Maharashtra - took place at 10 am on Sunday - it came to light after a video clip showing of two of the three stripped boys being whipped by an employee of the upper owner of the well went viral on Thursday.

The three victims boys - a 10-year-old Scheduled Tribe and two others aged 15 and 16 who are from the Scheduled Caste.

The two accused were identified as Ishwar Balwant Joshi, a 30-year-old from the Hindu Nandiwali Bhatke Joshi, a nomadic tribe and 22-year-old Prahlad alias Sonya Kailash Lohar, who is a Hindu Lohar Panchal, also a nomadic tribe.

Meanwhile, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is MLA from Jamner, visited the Wakadi village and spoke to people.

"Police have registered a case, the accused have been arrested, there is no tension here," he said, adding that the villagers here comprises all communities - Hindus, Muslims, Neo-Buddhists and Matangs.

The Pahur police have booked the two accused under section 324 (voluntarily causing by weapons or other means), 504 ( intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), section 67 (Section 67 — Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act, 2000 and relevant sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Jalgaon's Superintendent of Police Dattatreya Karale is himself supervising the investigations.

Both the victim boys and their families have come under tremendous pressure from the influential people in their village, to withdraw their complaint against Joshi and Lohar.

Meanwhile, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh founder-president Prakash Ambedkar described the incident as shocking. "We have seen incidents in Una, Jammu & Kashmir, Bhima Koregaon....and now Jamner," said Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. "The parents of these boys are being pressurised," he said.

Former chief minister and Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said that the incident was unfortunate and such incidents are on the rise across India.

 

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Rahul slams BJP over stripping, beating of Dalit boys

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