Dejected at being ‘persecuted’ by members of an upper caste in Gurgaon village, 18 members of a nomadic tribal family have sought the authorities’ permission to end their lives.
This is the first of its kind case, in which, 18 persons, including eight children, have sought nod for mass suicide due to social inequality.
Shyam Lal has been residing with his family in Bandhwari village, a Gujjar-dominated village on the Gurgaon-Faridabad state highway. The Lals is the only family which belongs to the tribal Bairagi community in the village.
In the petition, Lal has named five men and three women of the other community for allegedly forcing them to vacate prime land, on which they have put up their hutments.
The victims submitted the plea for mass suicide in the district court on Saturday.
“The family has also written a letter to President Pratibha Patil on this demand,” said Durgesh Boken, the victim’s counsel. Narrating his tale of woes to HT, Lal alleged, “On the night of June 25, the accused attacked our house. They tried to molest my wife and four daughter-in-laws. When I, along with my son, resisted their move, they thrashed us.” “The accused also filed an FIR and framed false charges against my family. They not only threatened us to leave the house but also demolished our house wall,” Lal said.
Highlighting the plight of Lal’s family, Boken said, “Shyam and his family have been approaching the city police from the past two months. However, no action was initiated. The family is being forced to leave without shelter.”
Meanwhile, the accused have claimed that Lal’s family had been encroaching upon their forefather’s land. However, Lal claimed that he had been residing in the village from the past many years.
SS Deswal, police commissioner, Gurgaon, said, “We will investigate the matter and take appropriate action.” The next hearing is on September 5.