Jaipur, August 15
Miffed over alleged atrocities against Dalits, Congress MLA Pana Chand Meghwal on Monday sent his resignation to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying he doesn’t have the right to remain a legislator if he can’t protect his community.
This comes two days after the death of a nine-year-old Dalit boy who was allegedly beaten up by his school teacher for touching a drinking water pot in Jalore.
“When we fail to protect the rights of our community… we have no right to remain in the post. After listening to my inner voice, I resign from the post of MLA so that I can serve the community without any position,” said Meghwal, the Baran-Atru MLA, in his resignation letter.
Even though the country is celebrating 75 years of independence, atrocities against Dalits and the other deprived classes continue, he said.
“I am hurt looking at the atrocities. I cannot express my pain in words (at) the way my community is being tortured,” he said.
Dalits are being killed for drinking water from a pot, sporting a moustache or riding a mare during a wedding. The judicial process is stalled and case files are passed from one table to the other. Cases of atrocities against Dalits have been on the rise in the last few years. It seems there is no one to protect the rights granted to Dalits by the Constitution, he added.
“In most of the cases lodged by Dalits, the police submit the final report. I have raised such cases in the state assembly many times but no action was taken by the police,” Meghwal rued.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan State Human Rights Commission (RSHRC) took suo moto cognisance of the death of the Dalit boy in Jalore and issued notices to the district collector and the superintendent of police. The RSHRC asked them to submit reports on the matter on August 26.
RSHRC chairman Justice G K Vyas and registrar will visit Jalore on Tuesday.
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission chairman Khiladi Lal Bairwa arrived in Jalore on Monday.
The boy, Indra Kumar, was beaten up in his school on July 20. He died during treatment at a hospital in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on Saturday.
The accused teacher, Chail Singh, 40, has been arrested. The state government has announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh for the victim’s family.