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Dalit kids on hunger strike for 22 days, demand justice for father’s death

Dalit kids on hunger strike for 22 days, demand justice for father’s death

Barmer, Rajasthan: A Dalit family demanding justice to their son Khetaram Bheel’s death along with his four children were demonstrating for the past 22 days outside the Barmer collectorate.

The thirty-year-old Khetaram was found dead on the outskirts of Aasada village on May 4. The family alleged that he was murdered, but police claimed that it was an accidental death. After Khetaram’s father Prabhu Ram lodged an FIR at the rural police station in Barmer on May 4, police filed the case under section 302 (punishment for murder) of IPC and 3(II)(V) of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, reported HT.

Khetaram’s father Prabhu Ram (65), his mother Leela Devi (62), wife Lehari Devi (28) and his four kids, Fuli (8), Bhikha Ram (6), Kabbu (3) and Riksha (1), started demonstrating outside the collectorate on June 2.

As there was no action taken by Police, The family members alleged that they were forced to take this step. After Leela Devi’s health deteriorated, a medical team from the Barmer government hospital treated her. Family members warned that they will not end the strike till they get justice. Many Dalit organisations supported the family and threatened to join the strike if no action takes place.

“Police are intentionally ignoring justice,” said Dalit Aadiwasi Sangarsh Samiti convener Danaram Waghela. “Though the case was filed about two months back, police have not started a fair investigation.” Apart from justice, Waghela said, they are demanding financial aid to the family under the SC/ST Act.

Barmer MP Col. Sonram Choudhary, Urdu Academy chairman Ashraf Ali Khilji, BJP legislator from Chohtan Tarunrai Kaga and former Barmer MP Harish Choudhary met the victims and assured them justice.