Ahmedabad: The parents of an Indian Army soldier Dinesh Rathod, who was allegedly killed by upper caste members six years back at their village in Surendranagar district,have been sitting on an indefinite hunger strike at Satyagrah Chhavni in Gandhinagar for last two weeks, demanding a CBI inquiry into their son’s murder.
Dinesh Rathod who was murdered in 2010 was recipient of four army gallantry medals and posted at Jammu and Kashmir.
Rajubhai Solanki, convener of Dalit rights outfit ‘Pratirodh’ said.“He was a brave soldier and was given promotion after he won four gallantry medals. When he was under training in Hyderabad after promotion, he came to his native village Karadi in Sayla takuka of Surendranagar in 2010. At that time, he had an altercation with some upper caste Kathi-Darbar youths of the village.”
He said. “Rathod scolded the accused for gambling outside panchayat office using abusive language. Since Rathod was a Dalit, these upper caste men did not like it and decided to teach him a lesson out of grudge.”
According to Solanki the accused allegedly stormed the soldier’s house and shot at Rathod’s dead using a 12 bore gun, by firing at him point-blank. He said though police arrested five accused at that time, they eventually came out of jail in 2014 after a local court acquitted them citing lack of evidence.
Rathod’s parents alleged that the investigation by police was biased and shoddy, which led to the acquittal.
Solanki said.“Since then, Rathod’s parents are living in fear and agony, as they suspect that the accused might also attack them. They also want a CBI inquiry into the case and a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs, as they are living on a small piece of agriculture land.”
He also said that Rathod’s mother Jethiben (65) was admitted to civil hospital two days back after she fell unconscious due to weakness during the hunger strike. He said she is out of danger now, but still receiving treatment at the hospital.
Solanki also said.“In coming days, we are planning to meet the governor on this issue. We have sought time from the Governor’s office. We are hopeful of meeting him soon.”