It was the night of November 23, 2016 when 30-year-old Behari Devi and her husband were allegedly brutally beaten up by their neighbours. Reason: Behari, a Dalit, had started watering her fields that morning before her neighbours, who are from an upper caste, could.
A resident of village Sankariya in Kekri tehsil of Ajmer district, Behari alleged that the neighbours first abused her and her husband in the morning. In the night, they called her to the fields where she and her husband were thrashed by 13 people from the neighbour’s family. The couple was saved by another neighbour.
Addressing a press conference here Wednesday, Behari alleged that initially police refused to register a complaint. An FIR was lodged on December 6, 2016, after a court order, she said, alleging that the accused are pressuring her to withdraw case.
While the investigating official in the case could not be contacted, an official confirmed that investigation is on.
Another Dalit woman, 60-year-old Chuki Devi, a resident of village Sajansar in Bidasar tehsil of Churu district, alleged that she was badly beaten by some people from the upper caste on February 25. Reason: she had protested against them for encroaching upon her land. A case was registered, she said, adding that now action has been taken and the accused are still at large.
DSP, Sujangarh (Churu), Sukhvendra Pal Singh said investigations were on and necessary action will be taken in a day or two.
Kamli Devi, 35, from village Lalvadi, in Thanagazi tehsil of Alwar district, alleged that on February 5, a group of 16 armed people attacked their house and thrashed the family members leaving many with broken bones. The women in the house were molested. Reason: Kamli, a Dalit, had complained against her neighbours for damaging the fence around her field.
Kamli alleged despite a police case, the accused were still torturing her family.
SP, Alwar, Rahul Prakash assured of legal action and efforts to solve the issue as soon as possible.
The victims were speaking to the media after attending a round table meet organised by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, an NGO, where 15 serious incidents of atrocities against Dalit were heard.
“In all the incidents, police and administration failed to act under the guidelines mandated in SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. Cases were not registered timely and report was not submitted in court within 60 days. There was political pressure and legal aid and security to victims were not provided,” NGO general secretary Asha said.
She said the victims should be provided a free copy of FIR and demanded government jobs to dependents, where a Dalit has been murdered in last three years.
Suman Devathiya, who heads the NGO in Rajasthan, said they would build pressure on district officials, create a network to strengthen the voice of Dalit women and provide legal support to the victims.