A six-year-old Dalit girl was pushed into a bonfire allegedly by a teenager who objected to her passing through a road next to his house in Chhata area of Mathura district on Tuesday evening.
The girl is in a critical condition with 50 per cent burns. She has been admitted to a local hospital. The youth has been arrested.
Kamlesh was with her mother Manju when the incident took place. The girl was running ahead and as she passed Ashok Singh’s house, his son Sunny came out and intercepted her. An altercation followed after which Sunny allegedly pushed Kamlesh, said SSP Mathura R.K. Chaturvedi.
Although no one knows yet what the argument was about, police have been told that Sunny scolded Kamlesh for running through the passage next to the house of an upper caste, the SSP said.
The SSP and other officials visited the spot later. Chaturvedi said residents belonging to different castes use that passage everyday and no one has ever objected.
Sunny has been charged with attempt to murder and booked under Sections 3 and 4 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Protection of Civil Rights) Act.
“We are thinking of taking more serious action against the accused under the Gangsters Act...We want a message to go out so that nobody does such a thing in future,” he said.
The SSP denied the road was meant for upper caste people.
“It is wrong...It is a general road and everybody was moving on it...There were so many women and children going through that road. The road was never obstructed by people and it was an act of an individual,” said Chaturvedi.
Sunny, however, told the police that he had not pushed the girl into the hot ashes and that it was an “accident”.
Giving details about the incident, Chaturvedi said: “Basically, it is an act of an individual. There is no previous history or any background of enmity.”
According to the girl’s father, Soudan, who lodged the police complaint: “My daughter was passing by the house of this youth...He objected to her doing so. When he tried to stop her, she got scared...Then he pushed her into the fire.”
DIG Agra, Kamal Saxena said tight security has been deployed to maintain peace in the area.
With inputs from PTI