On August 20, a 23-year-old Dalit woman was killed on her way to college in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. The man who killed her was allegedly putting pressure on her to withdraw the sexual harassment complaint filed against him.
The incident took place around noon, as the 23- year-old was on her way to her college, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Government Girls College which is located in Seoni, around 350 km from Bhopal.
The accused 38-year old Anil Mishra is also from the same village as the student. Allegedly, he got down from his motorcycle and dragged the girl by her hair and further, pushed her to the ground. After this, he smashed her head with a big stone, which was lying around, as reported by Arvind Jain, the Kotwali Station, police-in-charge.
Onlookers rushed to help the girl as she was bleeding profusely. She succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital. The subdivision police officer, KK Verma, said that Mishra committed the crime prima facie because she refused to withdraw the sexual harassment complaint against him. The matter is being further investigated.
In the aftermath of the incident, people took to social media and a large number of people were of the opinion that the journalists were unnecessarily adding the ‘Dalit’ angle to instigate the masses.
“What a shame! No journalist ethics! Do you really need to bring caste here?”, tweeted Rao Charagondla.
“Why are you mentioning Dalit here? Ridiculous! News agencies are masters in provoking people by guiding them in wrong direction, just to sell their NEWS”, wrote Trushar Panchal.
“Why do you bring a Dalit or a Muslim angle in every crime and make it look as if the whole nation is against these people. A crime is a crime and please don’t use such adjectives to raise TRP it’s used to divide the country”, tweeted Ravi Purohit.
The All India Mahila Congress took to Twitter to talk about the lack of safety of women even in broad daylight while blaming the central government for the same. “In @BJP4India’s Ram Rajya, women are not safe even in the broad day-light. 23-year-old Dalit student stoned to death in the Madhya Pradesh when she refuses to withdraw the sexual harassment case against the perpetrator,” tweeted AIMC.
Attacks On The Dalit Community
In June, two Dalit men were killed by the upper-caste Hindus in Tamil Nadu for allegedly sitting cross-legged during a temple ritual. They called it a “dishonourable and insulting” gesture. Fifteen of these upper-caste men went to the Dalits’ neighbourhood and attacked them injuring six men, damaging their houses, and killing two other men.
In Maharashtra, three Dalit boys were stripped, beaten and paraded naked by villagers for swimming in a well that belonged to an upper-caste family. A video was posted online of the same.
A 13- year old Dalit Boy was allegedly attacked in Gujarat for wearing a pair of “mojdis” – leather shoes – traditionally seen as royal footwear and worn by upper-caste members in some parts of India.