Dalit family beaten after protesting overcharged fertilizer – Jagaran Media Center

Dalit family beaten after protesting overcharged fertilizer

Urgent Appeal

Dear Friends,

The Jagaran Media Center (JMC) has received information about Ram Kishor Harijan and his son Parikshan Harijan. They had been beaten by non-Dalits Mohan Prasad Yadav and his son Niraj Yadav. They were buying chemical fertilizer at the local cooperative, which sells at a discounted governmental price. The feud began after the Yadavs tried to overcharge Ram Kishor and his son for the fertilizer. They were aware it was being sold to others at a lower price. This case depicts the unequal treatment of Dalits and non-Dalits while making use of State services and resources.

CASE DETAILS:

The Jagaran Media Center (JMC) has received information about Ram Kishor Harijan (34) and his son Parikshan Harijan (14), resident of Gobadawari, ward number 3, Gaidahawa Rural Municipality, Rupandehi District. They had been foul-mouthed and beaten by Chairperson Mohan Prasad Yadav (45) and his son Niraj Yadav (18) for protesting overcharged fertilizer at the Mirgasira Cooperative Limited. The non-Dalit Yadav father-son used derogatory caste terms and thrashed them on the evening of 30 August 2017.

The incident occurred when Ram Kishor and his Parikshan went to the cooperative to buy the chemical fertilizer on 30 August, where they have even provided NPR 2000 as an advance payment for buying three sacks (150 kilogram) of chemical fertilizer. They asked NPR 550 more for three sacks of fertilizer, but were selling it for NPR 800 per sack to others. The cooperative staffs were even selling fertilizers to others without taking any advance.

Knowing this difference in price, Parikshan asked why are they were being overcharged. The Yadavs told them to pay the extra price or leave. When Ram Kishor told them that he will make a complaint to the Chief District Officer and the Agriculture Office, Mohan Prasad Yadav grabbed his shirt collar and locked him inside the shop.

Parikshan protested, and he was beaten by Niraj Yadav. While Ram Kishor attempted to save his son, he was also beaten by the Yadavs. Yadavs scolded them, and charged them with being a Chamar, a lower caste. They called them untouchables, lower caste, poor and Dalits.

The Yadavs even confiscated their bicycle and the fertilizer.

The Yadavs did not stop there. They called the Police who arrested the Dalit father and son instead. They were released only after pressure from local social activists and politicians. The Police called both parties in for discussion. However, the Yadavs never attended and fled the village. Ram Kishor had been going to the local Police Station daily. As Yadav fled the village, no discussion has been organized so far.

The victims went to the Universal College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) Bhairahawa for treatment. Ram Kishor tried to file a First Information Report (FIR), on caste-based discrimination, but the Police would not register an FIR.

The JMC requests a prompt and proper investigation into this case. Victims must be provided safety and security. Perpetrators must be punished as per Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability (Crime and Punishment) Act 2011. The guilty must be punished so that others are deterred from practicing caste-based discrimination and un-touchability in the country.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the following Authorities calling on them to take necessary action against the people involved in this incident. The Police need to immediately arrest the alleged perpetrators, and start a prompt and proper investigation into this case.