Fight began among neighbours over disposal of dirty water
Chandrika Parmar (15) suffered 70 per cent burns when her neighbours, also Dalits, launched a sudden attack on her and her family. She is battling for her life at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.
The incident took place in Syla village in Surendranagar district. Chandrika had complained to her neighbour, Suneeta Vaghela, about throwing dirty water outside her house, leading to an argument. Ms. Vaghela’s father Motibhai Sumera then slapped Chandrika’s younger brother Milan and threatened the family.
When Chandrika’s mother Manjuben Parmar lodged a police complaint, the neighbours were infuriated. “That afternoon, Mr. Sumera, along with his immediate and extended family members, barged into the Parmar home and started beating everyone,” Chandrika’s cousin Mahendra Parmar told The Hindu.
“They were carrying sticks, red chilli powder and kerosene. There were nearly 10 of them. They were trying to douse Chandrika’s younger brother with kerosene when she rushed to his rescue. The assailants then turned on her. While three women held her down, the men poured kerosene and set her on fire,” the cousin said.
Chandrika suffered severe burns. “She is still in a critical condition,” M.M. Prabhakar, medical superintendent of the Civil Hospital, told The Hindu.
“Had the police acted on Manjuben’s complaint, the matter would not have escalated to this extent,” said Anand Parmar, Chandrika’s elder brother. “Instead, the local police used abusive words. They threatened to put me behind bars. When we went to the police station, we were made to wait for hours.”
The police have registered a case of attempt to murder, house-trespass and criminal intimidation against Mr. Sumera, a civil engineer; Sangeeta Vaghela, a school headmistress, and six other members of the Sumera family, based on Chandrika’s statement.
“Such a violent reaction to such a trivial issue is quite unexpected. There is no history of animosity or violence between the neighbours, except for occasional arguments over petty issues,” P.N. Momaya, Deputy Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu. She denied the family’s allegations that the police was lax in acting on the family’s complaint. “We took prompt action,” she said.
Read more here – http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dalit-minor-set-on-fire-in-gujarat-after-dispute/article6123630.ece