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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Dalits ostracised for singing bhajan

Shams UrRehman Alavi, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, January 24, 2013
First Published: 23:22 IST(24/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:39 IST(25/1/2013)

A Dalit family has been ostracised in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district because one of them dared to sing a bhajan at a religious programme in front of people from upper castes.

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Tailor Rajesh Uvnare, 40, on Thursday said strongmen from the dominant upper castes asked him to cut short his devotional song and get off the dais at his village, Mathni, last month. “A group belonging to the upper castes then asked villagers to stop all contact with our family.”

The family is not able to buy food in the village any more. “Villagers have stopped talking to us and I have been jobless for more than a month.”   

Uvnare’s wife Usha said, “I sent my son for grains from the local mill, but the staff refused to sell him any.” 

The Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission has taken note of the family’s plight in Betul, and issued notices to the district collector and superintendent of police. “They have been asked to reply within a week,” said a rights official.

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