Atrocities on Dalits don’t stop
India has been independent for 60 years, the dhoti has given way to the trouser, and the royal city of Jaipur has turned into a metropolis, but atrocities against Hinduism's lowest castes just don't stop. They were beaten up, denied entry to 65 Rajasthan booths. Sachin Saini reports.jaipur Updated: May 09, 2009 01:32 IST
India has been independent for 60 years, the dhoti has given way to the trouser, and the royal city of Jaipur has turned into a metropolis, but atrocities against Hinduism's lowest castes just don't stop.
Thursday’s election across Rajasthan’s 25 Lok Sabha constituencies saw 65 complaints registered by Dalits, claiming they were beaten and turned away from pollidalit atrocities, ng booths by members of the dominant caste in the locality, according to the Rajasthan Dalit Election Watch (RDEW), an NGO working for Dalit empowerment.
The RDEW has collected details of all the complaints. They came from all over — Barmer in the west to Dausa in the east, Jhalawar in the south to Nagaur, almost north.
If Shabu Meghwal, a Dalit, was thrashed and prevented from voting at Basai Tala in Barmer from where BJP youth leader and Jaswant Singh’s son Manavendra Singh is contesting, six other Dalits met the same fate at Baglai in Dausa, from which Congress youth leader Sachin Pilot is contesting. “They were attacked with sharp weapons, in some cases even guns,” said Gopal Ram Verma, the RDEW’s coordinator. “It happens in every election,” said state Congress vice president Raghu Sharma. “It’s really shameful.”
Dungar Ram Gedar, state president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said he had complained to the election commission., naming specific areas where Dalits were obstructed while trying to vote.
“We had directed our policemen to ensure that all castes are able to vote freely,” said P. K.Tiwari, Rajasthan director general of police.