In Rajasthan, dalit student found dead, kin accuse teachers of harassment
A 15-year-old Dalit student in Rajasthan died after alleged harassment by two teachers on the basis of caste. Police suspect suicide but the family claims murder. The teachers have been suspended and booked under various sections of the IPC and the SC/ST Act. The victim's family is demanding the arrest of the accused, compensation, and a government job.
Jaipur A 15-year-old Dalit student died in Rajasthan’s Kotputli town after two of his schoolteachers allegedly harassed him on the basis of caste, police said on Friday, as the victim’s family alleged that school was informed about the casteist remarks but refused to act.
The boy was found dead inside the classroom of the government run boarding school in the early hours of Wednesday after his body was recovered by the cleaning staff, said police. The body was sent for post-mortem examination and a report is awaited.
Police said that prima facie, it was a case of suicide, but added that the section of murder was invoked against the two accused men because the family insisted that the boy was killed and the crime was made to look like suicide.
“Prima facie, it is not a murder but suicide. However, we have included the section related to murder based on the family’s suspicions. The fact will be ascertained after the autopsy which is due as the family of the victim didn’t allow us to initiate the process,” said Sawai Singh, station house officer of Pragpura police station.
The two teachers – Vivek Yadav and Rajkumar Yadav – were booked under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and section 3-2(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The two teachers were also suspended by the school after the family filed a police complaint, police said.
HT reached out to the school for a response but could not get one immediately.
“While speaking to his father over phone on Tuesday night, the student mentioned that he was being constantly tortured by Rajkumar and Vivek’s casteist remarks in front of his classmates. It used to make him feel insulted,” an officer said, quoting the first information report (FIR).
“No action was taken against those two teachers by the principal and the vice-principal of the school even after the repeated pleas earlier. Instead, the principal said that your caste will never change,” said the boy’s uncle in the FIR, filed in Hindi, a copy of which is seen by HT.
In the FIR, the student’s family said the two teachers murdered the boy and later made it look like suicide.
One of the classmates of the victim, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he saw the two teachers verbally and physically abusing the victim on the school ground the day before he was found dead.
“He went to ask them to apologise to him for harassing him with casteist remarks in the classroom. But Rajkumar and Vivek repeated the same remarks towards him three times, boasting that nobody would dare to tell them anything as they have a rich family background,” the student told mediapersons.
A second student, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Rajkumar Yadav slapped the victim and pulled his hair. He said the victim skipped dinner on August 22 and left the hostel.
The victim’s relatives protested in front of the police station, demanding the immediate arrest of the accused, ₹50 lakhs in compensation and a government job.