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Former village head booked for ‘threatening’ Dalits in Ghaziabad

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Ghaziabad: A former village head has been booked on charges of threatening Dalits in Bamheta locality in Ghaziabad, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

The Dalits lodged a first information report after they were allegedly threatened by the accused along with his accomplices to pressurise a Dalit family to withdraw a rape case against two boys of a particular community.

Police had arrested Pushpendra alias Babloo and Amit alias Rencho on charge of raping a minor girl on March 29. Amit was charged with helping the other accused commit the crime.

The girl set herself afire following the incident and succumbed to her burn injuries in Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on April 6, 2016.

“On April 8, former village head Leele Pradhan barged into our house when a dozen-odd people from neighbouring Dalit families had come to offer condolences. Leele thrashed Gopal, a younger brother of the girl’s father Balbir Singh.

“He warned that all Dalit families will be eliminated if the case filed against the two boys was not withdrawn,” said Bhim Sen Gautam, a nephew of Gopal.

The families lodged a complaint at the Kavi Nagar police station and although station house officer Ashok Sishodia assured of action, the Dalits said, no action was taken.

Leele again threatened the Dalits of dire consequences if compromise was not reached with the rape accused, he said.

Gautam said that despite Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Yadav’s assurance, no police action was forthcoming.

“The community members are living in fear. We will have no option but to convert to Christianity or Islam to survive in Bamheta locality,” Gautam said.

SP City Salman Taj Patil said: “An FIR has been filed against Leele under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Arrest in the case is yet to made. The situation in the locality is normal.”

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