Maha Govt in damage control mode after anti-Dalit incidents
In an apparent damage control exercise after recent incidents of “honour killing” of a Dalit boy in Ahmednagar district and boycott of Dalits
Mumbai: In an apparent damage control exercise after recent incidents of “honour killing” of a Dalit boy in Ahmednagar district and boycott of Dalits in Buldhana district, two senior Maharashtra ministers on saturday visited the concerned villages and announced relief measures.
Tribal Affairs Minister Madhukar Pichad visited Kharda village in Jamkhed taluka of Ahmednagar and met the family of the 17-year-old dalit boy Nitin Raju Age who was murdered and hanged from a tree allegedly over his love affair with a minor girl from upper caste.
After the boy was seen talking to the girl in a field by some people, including the girl’s brother, a group allegedly attacked him with sticks and strangled him to death with a rope and hanged him from a tree on Monday.
Pichad announced that the family would get Rs five lakh compensation from state government and another Rs five lakh from the NCP as financial assistance.
Pichad also discussed the issue with state Home Minister R R Patil, who has announced that trial in the boy’s murder would be conducted by a fast-track court.
Police have arrested 11 people, including the girl’s brother and three juveniles. The accused have been booked for murder and other charges, including violating the Prevention of Atrocities Act and Protection of Civil Rights Act.
Meanwhile, state EGS Minister Nitin Raut today visited Belad village in Buldhana district, where upper caste people “boycotted” Dalits in the village.
Raut held a meeting with villagers belonging to both sections and warned them that the government won’t hesitate in taking extreme measures like stopping the financial grant to village gram panchayat in case of such incidents.
Raut, who was accompanied by SC/ST commission chief C L Thul, said the village sarpanch and other villagers have assured him that such an incident won’t happen again.