After the infamous Sidhi urination case, another shocking incident has come to light in Madhya Pradesh where a dalit man’s face and body were allegedly smeared with human excreta by a fellow villager in Chhatarpur district.
National president of the Indian National Congress (INC), Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh over the incident and demanded strict action against the accused.
Kharge’s reaction comes even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again slated to visit Madhya Pradesh on August 12 to lay the foundation stone of a Rs 100 crore worth Sant Ravidas temple. Sant Ravidas is revered mainly by the dalit community.
The incident occurred on July 21 in Bikaura village under Maharajpur police station in Chhatarpur, but the victim Dashrath Ahirwar, 40, approached the police on Saturday after which a case was registered against accused Ramkripal Patel. Superintendent of police of Chhatarpur, Amit Sanghi, tweeted on Monday from the official handle that the 65-year-old accused has been arrested and sent to jail. The tweet however mentioned the incident as a result of a ‘mutual village joke’.
“On the report that filth was thrown upon the complainant, age 40 years, a resident of village Bikaura under police station Maharajpur, by a person from the same village during a mutual joke, the police took prompt action and registered the case No.190/23 under sections 294, 506 of Indian Penal Code and sections 3 (1)( C), 3 (1)( d), 3 (1)( d) of SC/ST prevention of atrocities Act. Soon the accused, aged 65 years, also a resident of Bikaura, was arrested; produced before a court and lodged in jail,” the SP tweeted.
According to the information available, the incident occurred when Ahirwar, along with some other labourers, was working on drainage construction in the village and the accused was taking a bath nearby. The victim said in his statement that the grease in his hand had touched Patel by mistake and peeved over this, Patel smeared his face and body with human excreta. He said that he reported the matter to the village panchayat on Friday night, but rather than any relief he was fined Rs 600.
Patel reportedly told police that Ahirwar deliberately dusted off cement sacks close to him and did not stop despite abuse and rather brought some grease and smeared it on his hand asking him to use it as shampoo to take a bath. Patel thought that it was slime and retaliated by smearing Ahirwar with whatever was available close. Patel told police that his intention was not to smear human excreta and even if cattle dung was available nearby, he would have smeared that on the victim, sources said.
However, the incident has evoked huge condemnation as it comes days after the infamous Sidhi urination case. Kharge took up the issue to tweet “Within a month, a second very condemnable and painful incident of atrocities against dalits and tribals has occurred in Madhya Pradesh that puts humanity to shame. According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) Report (2021), in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh – the rate of crimes against dalits is the highest and the highest number of crimes have been committed against tribals, with more than seven crimes per day. Our dalit, tribal and backward-class citizens of Madhya Pradesh have been suffering humiliation under BJP's misrule for decades. BJP's ‘Sabka Saath’ (support to everyone) is confined to advertisements and has become a pretentious slogan and PR Stunt! BJP is shattering Babasaheb Ambedkar's dream of social justice every day. We demand that the strictest action should be taken on this incident in Chhatarpur district!”
Kamal Nath also attacked the BJP government. “The incident of smearing excreta on a dalit person in Chhatarpur of the state is extremely disgusting. Such incidents are a blot on the face of civilized society. The name of Madhya Pradesh is tarnished by such acts. Before this, the state had to be embarrassed by the incident of urination on a person belonging to the tribal community in Sidhi. Atrocities on dalits and tribals are at their peak in the 18 years of BJP's misrule in Madhya Pradesh. The time has come when the ideology of keeping such mentality towards dalits and tribals is ended and dalits and tribals are given their constitutional respect in Madhya Pradesh.”
National president of BJP SC Morcha, Lal Singh Arya retaliated while speaking to media persons in Bhopal. Arya said that if Kharge says that there are incidents of atrocities against dalits in Madhya Pradesh, he should take a proper look at the NCRB report. “The NCRB report clearly says that Rajasthan is number one in the country in rapes of women and atrocities on dalits. Atrocities on dalits are happening in states with Congress-alliance governments and Jharkhand is a clear example of this. Also, in West Bengal, the homes of 3000 dalits were burnt down under the government of Mamta Banerjee. Kharge ji should answer as to why such atrocities were being committed on dalits and women in states with Congress or its alliance governments,” Arya said.
MP Congress media department chief, K.K. Mishra hit out over the highest rape claims in Rajasthan. He tweeted “BJP specializes in spreading confusion! Is it saying that more rapes are reported in Rajasthan? According to NCRB (2021), a total of 6462 rapes took place in MP of which 2947 were registered under IPC while 3515 (rapes of minors) were under the POCSO Act. All types of rape cases in Rajasthan are registered under IPC and 6337 cases were registered there, according to NCRB 2021. Rape of minors is also more in MP?? Who is the liar??”