[20 October 2014] -
Reportedly, an upper caste Hindu tortured a 15-year old Mahadalit boy because his goat was grazing the paddy crops in Karakat, Rohtas in Bihar.
The boy named Sai Ram, living in Mohanpur village, was a Dalit that is he was from the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy that still defines the lives, and sometimes the deaths, of millions of people in India.
Sai had been grazing his flock of goats in a field when one of his goats went astray and got into the nearby paddy fiels of Arvind Singh alias Kunkun Singh, an upper caste Rajput of the same village who took it as an offence . Singh chased the boy and gave him a severe beating.
Later, Singh doused kerosene oil on kid’s house and set it ablaze. The family of the deceased was not able to rescue Sai in time and so he suffered serious burn injuries. He was then shifted to the hospital but died during treatment succumbed to the injuries.
Though the case has been registered, the culprit has not been arrested yet.
This incident against Dalits counts second in the row within a week after six Dalits girls including two minors were raped by upper caste men in Bhojpur.
In September, Dalits attempting to contest in local elections in Bihar were forced vacate the village along with their families.
There has been a remarkable spurt in violent crimes against Dalit communities in Bihar this year. The numbers since 2005 are bad enough — 32,395 cases of atrocities till this August — but it’s the 10,681 cases in the past 20 months that point to an alarming uptrend. It gets worse from this January to August:
4,322 cases, including 361 cases under the Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST, the highest in the past nine years.