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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Family of MP Dalits kids killed for ‘open defecation’ wants to leave village

An official from the district administration said the Balmiki family’s fear stems from the fact that it does not get along with the other families in the village.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2019 15:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Shivpuri
Two children from the Dalit community were allegedly beaten to death by two men for defecating at a spot close to the house of the attackers in a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district on Wednesday.
Two children from the Dalit community were allegedly beaten to death by two men for defecating at a spot close to the house of the attackers in a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district on Wednesday. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
         

The families of the Dalit children killed by two men for defecating near their house in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh have said they fear for their lives and want to leave their village.

Manoj Balmiki, whose 10-year-old son Avinash and 12-year-old sister Roshni were killed on Wednesday, said his entire family wants to go away from Bhavkhedi, 312 kilometres north of state capital Bhopal. The children were beaten to death by brothers Hakim Yadav and Rameshwar Yadav, who belong to an influential family.

“They can kill any other family member too. Though nobody has threatened us so far, they may take revenge on us for complaining against the accused and later police action against them. We are not safe here,” Avinash’s father, Manoj, said while speaking to Hindustan Times over the phone.

“When I have lost my son and sister I have fear of none. If they dare to attack us, we will give a befitting reply to them,” he also said.

Avinash was one of Manoj Balmiki’s three children. Roshni was one of eight children of Kalla Balmiki, who is Manoj’s father.

Shivpuri’s collector Anugraha P said they will help the Balmiki family relocate if they want to.

“Though the village doesn’t have a history of any caste clash, if the affected family is willing to shift from the village the administration will help it settle with families of their caste somewhere else,” she said.

“A police team is already there to ensure the protection of the family. An anti-riot vehicle too has been stationed at the village,” she added.

The collector said the parents of the children have been given Rs 4 lakh each under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

“The remaining amount of Rs 4 lakh each will be given to them after the charge-sheet is filed in the court.”

An official from the district administration said the Balmiki family’s fear stems from the fact that it does not get along with the other families in the village.

“There is just one Balmiki family in the village belonging to a Scheduled Caste, which feels isolated in the village. Kalla Balmiki, the head of Balmiki family, shifted to the village a few years back,” the official quoted above said.

“Though there are about 30-40 Jatav families in the Yadav-dominated village, who also belong to a Scheduled Caste, members of the two Scheduled Castes don’t mingle with each other,” the official added.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 15:35 IST

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