40 caste panchayat members booked for harassing Jaisalmer Dalit man
The panchs were booked after Bheraram Meghwal lodged a complaint with the police on August 10.Updated: Aug 14, 2019 10:26 IST
Forty members of a caste panchayat in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district have been booked after a Dalit man threatened to commit suicide alleging harassment over the last 15 years, police have said.
Ramgarh station house officer Ugamraj Soni said the panchs were booked after Bheraram Meghwal lodged a complaint with the police on August 10. Soni said Meghwal threatened to commit suicide if he was not given justice. He said an investigation is underway and all those found guilty will be arrested soon.
Meghwal, a resident of Ramgarh village, said the panchayat members had been extorting money and ostracising his family from time to time since 2004. He said the panchayat had been called in 2004 by his in-laws who had falsely accused him of kidnapping and raping his sister-in-law.
His sister-in-law’s husband also filed a case against Meghwal and, based on that, the police arrested and chargesheeted him. However, a local court cleared him of the charges.
Meghwal said even after being cleared by the court, the 40 panchs held a panchayat and ordered him to pay Rs 11 lakh as a penalty or face social boycott.
He managed to pay Rs 5 lakh but could not put together the remaining amount. After that, the panchayat began harassing him and his family and boycotting them from time to time.
Fed-up with the harassment, Meghwal approached the police and lodged a complaint against the panchayat members.