More than three weeks have passed since a Dalit family was ostracised and forced to leave their village in Madhya Pradesh's Betul district. But, according to media reports, the police and the administration have failed to either rehabilitate them or to take action against anyone.
Bhupati Das's family, including his wife and four children, were ostracised after they were charged with practising black magic August 22. Das was away from home at the time.
Media reports have said that upper caste villagers thronged Das's house and started abusing his wife. The mob alleged that Das was a sorcerer and that he had used black magic to stop the rain.
Holding Das responsible for the drought conditions in the area, the villagers razed his house and destroyed his belongings. His wife, three daughters and son were forced to leave the village immediately.
When Das reached his home after lodging a complaint with the police, he found that the villagers had cleaned the debris and placed stones, smeared with vermillion, all around.
On hearing that his children's life was in danger if he stayed in the village, Das took shelter at his friend's home in Chichanda village, 40 km away.
Das also complained about the incident to Superintendent of Police RL Prajapati Aug 29, but no action has been taken so far.
Prajapati said he was not aware of the incident. "I will look into it," he told IANS.
This is not an isolated case of atrocity on Dalits.
According to statistics from February 2008 to 2009 compiled by the police headquarters (PHQ), there have been 40,250 registered cases of atrocities against Dalits.
While Chhatarpur district tops the list with 215 registered cases of atrocities against Dalits, Morena was second with 197 registered cases and Sagar third with 194 cases.
Even Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan's hometown and his parliamentary constituency Vidisha have not been spared. Here 129 cases have been recorded.
In Betul district, where Das's village is located, the number of registered cases stood at 129.
"The actual cases could be double, or even more, as in most of the cases the poor and the downtrodden are not able to muster the courage to report the matter to the police, and again, on so many occasions even the police are found to be unwilling to register cases against upper caste people," a senior police official confessed on condition of anonymity.