In Rajasthan, a Dalit youth was beaten to death by dominant caste men for being an Ambedkarite.
Vinod Bamnia (Meghwal), a Dalit youth died in an attack on him and his brother by the members of the dominant caste (Jat). The attack took place in Kinkaraliya village (Tehsil Rawatsar) in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan on 5 June. Vinod and his brother, both Ambedkarites, were waylaid by Jat boys and attacked with sticks and sharp weapons. Vinod who was grievously injured died the following day 0n 6 June in hospital.
For a few days before killing him, the upper caste youths were continuously threatening and abusing the brothers, “Tum bahut Ambedkar ko yaad karte hain, we will kill you!”
The fatal attack was triggered by the fact that Vinod and his brother has put up a banner on their house commemorating the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambekbar on 14 April. This enraged the dominant upper caste (Jat) people who came to their house on 24 April, threatened and abused them and tore away from the banner. The Dalit family protested against this and called a panchayat in the village. The miscreants had to apologize to the brothers for tearing the banner and abusing Ambedkar.
The Jat boys considered apologizing in the name of Ambedkar as an insult and admitting mistake to the Dalits as a humiliation to their honour. They started threatening to kill them. To take revenge for their hurt caste pride, on June 5, the miscreants surrounded the brothers, attacked them with sticks and an axe. Vinod was severely injured. He was taken to Rawatsar government hospital, from where he was referred to the district hospital in Hanumangarh. Vinod succumbed to his injuries at the hospital the next day.
When the dalit youths were being threatened with murder, they had lodged FIR on two different occasions along with the call recordings of the threats to the police, but no action was taken by the administration. The silence of the police and their reluctance to act and arrest the miscreants even in such a serious case of caste harassment and threat to kill, emboldened the upper caste miscreants to carry out the murderous attack.
The gruesome murder of Vinod by the miscreants belonging to upper castes has enraged the Dalit population in his village and nearby areas. Activists, friends and relatives of Vinod protesting the administration’s failure which led to his killing staged a sit-in in front of Rawatsar Hospital demanding the administration to focus on the caste angle of the crime and ensure that the killers were punished.
Last night, the police arrested 12 persons and a compensation of Rs 8 lakh and a job to a kin of the deceased has been announced by the administration. But the demand to take action against the police officials for their failure to take action as per SC/ST act has not been met so far.