Uttar Pradesh government must respond to horrendous case of atrocity inflicted on a Dalit Child in district Jaunpur
It was 9 am in the morning of December 28th. Jamuna Devi and her husband Mahendra Gautam had gone out for their usual daily wage work in Maharajganj block of district Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. Eight years old Shivam did not go to his school that day. His five years old sister was with him at their nondescript residence. The family belonged to Chamar community, one of the biggest communities among Dalits in UP, and is absolutely landless with no way to survive except working as agricultural labors at different places.
Jaunpur is very violent zone in terms of violence against Dalits with Brahmin, Rajputs and Yadavs dominating the region and are the main landowning communities here. Dalits work as agricultural workers here. There are brick kiln as well as carpet industry of Varanasi and Bhadohi in the nearby region hence child and bonded labor are quite common here. Any resistance is met with life threatening violent oppression. Varanasi is merely 50 kilometer from Jaunpur while Allahabad is nearly 60 kilometer but Maharajganj is much closure to district Pratapgarh and the feudalism is still prevalent in the entire belt.
At around 9 am in the morning Radhey Shaym Tiwari and Vijay Nath Tiwari s/o Ganga Prasad Tiwari, village Gaura Khurd, Maharajganj, Jaunpur Uttar Pradesh came along with Sudhansu and Ankit all from Tiwari family and picked up Shivam alias Photo to work at their sugarcane crusher machine. Shivam did not want to go there but he was slapped and abused. He remained there for a few minutes and ran away to the nearby locality of barbar community as soon as he got the opportunity but the Tiwari goons were running after him and traced him there. They again beat up the boy, abused him in the filthiest caste abuses threatening him with dire consequences if he does not work. The innocent child was not interested hence got beaten up for his reluctance. They threatened him again saying if he did not work they would throw him into the machine. When the little boy did not budge from his stand of not doing the work the Tiwaris forcibly threw him on the crusher machine which resulted his hand getting caught in it. He cried in pain but there was no one to support. But the brave heart some how tried to run screaming in pain but fell unconscious. Some people heard the noise and scream of the innocent child and informed the family. When the family got intimation of this, they rushed to the house of Radheyshyam Tiwari .The Tiwaris ran away from the spot. The family then took the child and went straight to the Maharajganj police station where the police officers refused to file an FIR and just contemptuously rebuked the family. Frightened and worried they had no hope left hence their major focus shifted to save their child.
There was no government hospital available to do such an important case hence the only option for the family was to look for some private clinic to save the life of their child.
Finally, the family found a private clinic in Machhlishahar where the doctor informed him that the boy has lost his hand and therefore it had to be cut. For the child and the family it was most traumatic thing but we know the family cant even express her pains and agonies. If this case were in any urban area and with any caste family, our TV channels would have been repeatedly showing it and the brutality of the culprit but here nothing happened except for a few local papers who carried the story in their local edition like any other crime news. Sadly, there is none to support this family. The Tiwaris have made it difficult for the family to even move out of their little home. They don’t have any resource to even run here and there leave alone spending so much of money on treatment of the innocent child.
It is shameful that the administration did not take note of this incident despite request which shows how difficult is it for a Dalit family which is absolutely landless and no political connection to get justice in India. The family which struggle for their daily earning is paying the price of standing with honor in front of the caste oppression which the Indian caste Hindus feel their fundamental right and duty.
After much efforts of two hard working social activists from Jaunpur Ms Shobhna Smriti and Renu Singh, the Maharaj Ganj police registered the FIR on January 19th, 2016. The police registered criminal cases section 326/323/504 of the IPC and 3(1)X SC-ST act but so far no arrest has been made.
This case is a typical example of how the police administration in this country work where the police does not file FIR of a landless Dalit family whose child has lost his left hand in the sugarcane crusher of the Tiwari family who is influential and use bonded labor to further his work. There is no history of Shivam working there but as a rule in the villages, these feudal lords come to the Dalit bastees and ask for any child to be taken to do work at their crushers. Because the families of Dalits too go to work as agricultural labours in their fields the owners feel that they can take any one from their families at their whims and fancies.
While the case is filed under various sections and SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, we need to ask as what punishment should the police officials get for delaying this case. We know that in the absence of a medical from the government hospital ( the child is being treated at a private nursing home) the case may fall flat. The police does this deliberately so that later when the case comes there would be no conviction. The brahmanical mindset in Indian administration are doing everything to foil the modern constitution of Baba Saheb Ambedakr so that the poor, helpless don’t get any justice.
It is important therefore that Uttar Pradesh government suspend the police officials of Maharajganj police station for not filing FIR on time and helping the poor family which does not have money to survive. We don’t know how long will the case take but what happens to the child ? Who will take care of his expenses? Can we give hope to his family ? If yes, how ?
The National Human Rights Commission and National Scheduled Castes Commission must take suo moti notice of of it and ask the Uttar Pradesh government to explain its glaring lack of duty towards such families. Why should not such officials be dismissed outrightly for dereliction of their duty.
Shivam is just 8 years old. He has a younger sister who is five years of age. Can we imagine, how much pain he could have gone through at this age. The bold boy is fighting but the parents have no resources on their own. The state and its apparatus have failed to protect them. It has even failed to provide them any justice on time resulting in loss of his left hand.
Who will compensate Shivam for his loss? How long India will tolerate such caste brutalities? How long we continue to sing hosannas for our ‘tolerance’ and great culture. We need answer to these quarries. In the meanwhile, I request friends to file case based on it so that the family get justice. The biggest focus should be severe punishment to the Tiwaris who were responsible for inflicting this inhuman crime on the innocent child. We hope police will investigate the matter in good faith and will not try to shield the culprit and for that the entire police station need to be suspended or transferred. How will the same police people investigate the matter impartially who they did not record at the first place.
The second and perhaps more important is the rehabilitation and treatment of the child. His family need to be compensated fully and child must be taken care of properly so that he could go to school and study without any prejudices.
Political parties as usual have not spoken on the issue. They don’t speak unless it become a media event. We request friends to make petition based on this article and do write to NHRC and other such bodies including UP Chief Minister Mr Akhilesh Yadav to act fast on the issue.
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