Rajasthan: Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad detained at Jodhpur airport ahead of visit to deceased Dalit boy’s village

A 9-year-old Dalit student was reportedly beaten up for drinking water from the headmaster’s clay pot, which was only meant to be used by people from the upper caste.

Rajasthan: Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad detained at Jodhpur airport ahead of visit to deceased Dalit boy’s village
Chandra Shekhar Azad. (Express File Photo)

Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad was on Wednesday detained by the Jodhpur police upon landing at the airport to meet the family of a Dalit boy who passed away last month after being allegedly thrashed by his school teacher in Rajasthan’s Surana village. “He has been stopped at the airport and being talked to in the lobby,” a police official told news agency PTI. Azad was traveling to Jalore district where the alleged incident had taken place.

A 9-year-old Dalit student was reportedly beaten up for drinking water from the headmaster’s clay pot, which was only meant to be used by people from the upper caste. After being thrashed, several abuses were also hurled at the boy, as per reports. After suffering from brain hemorrhage, the boy passed away after 24 days at an Ahmedabad hospital. The headmaster was arrested and charged under the SC/ST Act. However, teachers in the school have refuted the claims made by the boy’s father and said that there was no such discrimination in the school as everyone drank water from the same water tank, while adding that were no earthen pots. The situation remains tense in the village due to the proposed visit of Bhim Army leaders. Police has been deployed in huge numbers outside the village as a precautionary measure.

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In a leaked audio clip where the headmaster is heard talking to the boy’s father, there was no mention of an earthen pot from either the teacher or the father. “I am admitting my mistake. I didn’t deliberately hit so hard. If the situation is that bad, I am ready to pay for the treatment. I apologise. I am also paying for it and what more can I do?” said the headmaster in the audio.

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Soon after the death of the student on August 14, the Bhim Army members stormed the streets and pelted stones at the local police. In order to disperse the unruly mob, the police had resorted to lathi charge. The local administration in Jalore district shut down internet services in order to curb the worsening law and order situation. While the state government has announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased, the family has demanded an amount of Rs 50 lakh and a government job for one member from the family.

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