An 11-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly beaten up after her shadow fell on the lunch box of an upper-caste man in Ganeshpura village of Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh on June 13. The incident came to light on Tuesday.
The girl’s father, Raju Vanshkar, recollected the horrific details: “The incident took place on Saturday when my daughter had gone to bring water from a government hand pump. The accused Puran Yadav was passing by the hand pump. Suddenly, Yadav along with his family members started beating up my daughter saying that her shadow has spoiled their lunch. Puran Yadav’s wife Leela and other family members dragged her along the road and threatened her not to come to the hand pump.”
Vanshkar lodged a complaint with the police and forwarded an application to the superintendent of police to initiate proceedings under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The police, however, have denied it being a case of untouchability.
Investigating officer (IO) RP Tiwari said, “The matter has nothing to do with social evil (of) untouchability. Both parties fought over water to fill their bucket first on June 13. Yadav’s wife and his sister-in-law beat the girl on the issue. But on June 15, the girl’s father gave police an application that her daughter was beaten up as her shadow fell on the lunch box (of the accused).”
A case under sections 341, 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered, while violations under the SC/ST Act are under investigation.
Chhatarpur superintendent of police Lalit Shakyawar said, “Primarily, it was not a case of SC/ST Act but the girl’s father has levelled some allegations related to it, so I have asked the IO to investigate the matter.”