Two Minor Dalits Beaten To Death; Their Crime, They Didn't Own A Toilet
Hakam Yadav and his brother Rameshwar Yadav, upper-caste Yadavs from the Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh, beat two children to death for their God had commanded them in Hakam’s dream to kill “demons”.
A minor girl named Roshani Balmiki (12) and a boy named Avinash Balmiki (10), residents of Bhavkedhi, a village in Shivpuri district, went to defecate on a street facing the panchayat building at 6.30 am on the 25th of September, when they were beaten with lathis (sticks) just 60 feet away from their home.
The two children and their family belonged to the ‘Dalit’ community and were victims of the cruelty inspired by India’s archaic caste system. They didn’t have a toilet in their dilapidated mud hut and sent their children to pass motions every morning, like many Dalits in the country do.
“Rameshwar and Hakam, who were standing near their hand pump, shouted at them for defecating on the road and rained blows with sticks on the children’s heads while they were relieving themselves, killing them in seconds”, their father, Manoj Balmiki cried.
The incident took place a day after the government website claimed that rural India is open defecation free, soon after Prime Minister Modi announced at a Houston event that the country had got rid of this infamous practice and exclaimed that India’s affairs were perfectly fine in eight different languages.
“There is a lot of untouchability issues in our village. We have to wait for an hour to collect water from the village pump and are constantly abused with casteist slurs” Balmiki said.
The family of the accused claim that their sons are mentally disturbed. “We have filed a First Information Report but we have not found any caste discrimination,” Rajesh Singh Chandel, a senior police officer said. He added that investigations had commenced to see “if the murder was related to superstition” linked with open defecation, “or untouchability”.
The victims’ family has said that they were allotted a toilet on paper but it was never built as the local panchayat denied it to them.
While PM Modi was in New York, being conferred the ‘Global Goalkeeper’ award by the Gates Foundation for his Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan which aims at providing clean and accessible sanitation facilities to the underprivileged, Roshani and Avinash breathed their last as they succumbed to their injuries and were announced dead on arrival in the hospital.