SIT to probe Dalit suicide case
The director general of police on Monday constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death of a Dalit youth in which a sarpanch has been accused of abetting suicide.punjab Updated: Dec 31, 2013 00:59 IST
The director general of police on Monday constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death of a Dalit youth in which a sarpanch has been accused of abetting suicide.
Headed by Karnal superintendent of police Shashank Anand, deputy superintendents of police Joginder Rathee and Surinder Bhoria are other members of SIT.
It was alleged that Shivam (21), belonging to the Scheduled Caste community was subjected to humiliation by sarpanch of Chaura village, Rajinder Khurana and others in November.
Shivam was allegedly involved in sexually harassing a minor from a Backward Class community in his neighbourhood and the girl's mother had even made a police complaint. But before police action was initiated, the matter was taken to the local panchayat and Shivam was allegedly harassed by the panchayat members.
However, those supporting the sarpanch deny the allegations that Shivam was subjected to any harassment and claimed that he and his family had pleaded to pardon Shivam for his alleged offence.
Shivam committed suicide on December 23 and his family alleged that unable to bear the humiliation meted out to him by Khurana and others at panchayat, their son took the extreme step.
The Karnal police handed over the probe to Kaithal Bhoria and he arrested the sarpanch on Saturday. The sarpanch is in judicial custody.
The arrest evoked a strong response from the villagers who had gheraoed the official residence of the Karnal SP on Sunday.
Meanwhile, SIT head Anand told HT on Monday that the police would conduct a polygraph test on Khurana. He refused to comment if the arrest of the accused was needed or it could have been avoided.
"It is a sensitive case and villagers are making allegations and counter allegations. Some members of the Dalit community from Chaura village have come out in the support of the sarpanch and made serious allegations against the deceased's family. The victim's family is also alleging that they were being targeted due to their caste," he said.
Anand said an audio clipping containing recording of the panchayat members humiliating the victim had been submitted to the police as proof.
"We are yet to ascertain the veracity of the audio clipping and the villagers have been assured of a fair investigation," said Anand, who met both parties at Chaura.
52 sarpanches resign
Sarpanches of 52 panchayats under Ghraunda block of Karnal district submitted their resignations to the chief minister office on Monday to protest against the arrest of the sarpanch of Chaura village.
President of Sarpanch Association of Ghraunda, Ajay Singh demanded transfer of Karnal superintendent of police Shashank Anand for a fair probe into the matter.
Sarpanches who are on an indefinite fast since Sunday evening said Khurana was implicated by the Dalit family for unknown reasons.
The protesting sarpanches are demanding immediate release of Khurana and claimed that sarpanches of all panchayats had assured them of participation in their indefinite fast from Tuesday.