In yet another incident of caste-based discrimination, a Dalit family in Maharashtra was not allowed to conduct the funeral procession of their family member in Malewadi village in the state's Solapur district.
Protesting against the refusal, the family cremated the body outside the gram panchayat office on Saturday, August 21.
Denied Access To Cremation
The deceased, 74-year-old Dhananjay Sathe passed away in the early hours of Saturday, August 22. His brother is the village sarpanch who along with other family members was ferrying the body to the village crematorium for the final rites.
According to The Wire, the crematorium was situated near the farmland that belonged to a fellow villager. The upper-caste Hindus reportedly stopped the funeral procession from passing through their fields.
"We [funeral procession] were stopped from passing through the fields in the village. Even police vehicles were parked in front of our vehicles in order to stop us. We kept begging the police to allow us but they did not pay any heed," Dashrath Sathe said, as reported by India Today.
He further alleged that the police officials did not allow them to pass despite desperate requests.
As per reports, a case has been filed against at least 13 people from the village under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The charges also include rioting.
A case has also been lodged against seven members of the Dalit family for being involved in riots and conducting the funeral without following COVID protocol.