A 13-year-old Dalit boy from Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s home district was allegedly assaulted and his arm broken when he drank water from the well of an upper caste farmer on Sunday.
The assaulters later barred Dalit villagers of Dudhlai in Sehore district from using roads taken by upper caste people. They also forbade Dalits from drawing water from wells and hand-pumps in the village.
Sources said on Thursday the incident happened after teenager Ashok, who was tending cattle under a hot Sunday afternoon sun, went to a well in the field of Bhagirat Jat to quench his thirst.
Instead of letting the boy drink, Bhagirat and brother Kailash beat him up mercilessly. Then they went to the village and issued the diktat. They threatened Dalits with dire consequences if anyone defied the parochial order.
Dalit villagers are now so scared that they are not willing to speak of the incident.
District collector Sehore Sudam Khade said a team of officials was sent to the village to investigate and give confidence to the Dalits. “A case was registered under SC/ST prevention of atrocities act.”
Dalit leader Maakhan Singh Solanki alleged that the BJP-led state government was supporting caste discrimination and threatened to launch a public protest.
“The government is propagating the RSS agenda of upper caste supremacy in the state, which is giving rise to atrocities against Dalits. It is extremely shameful that such an incident happened in the chief minister’s home district.”
Sunday’s incident underscored a string of discriminatory action against the marginalized section this year. Upper caste men refused to accept sweets from a Dalit schoolboy at this year’s Republic Day function at a government school in Sehore district.
Later on March 8, a nine-year-old Dalit boy drowned in a well after he was denied access to his school’s hand pump in Damoh.