Dalit boy found dead in juvenile home after upper caste inmates ‘break rib’

Meerut, September 08 (KMS): A 16-year-old Dalit boy from Amroha was found hanging in the bathroom of a juvenile home in Bulandshahr city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the Dalit boy had been sent to the centre on July 30 after being held on the charges of kidnapping an upper caste girl he had eloped with. Since then, he had been allegedly beaten up by dominant caste inmates for his “transgression” and for “daring to” run away with the upper caste girl, his family said.

“On Monday, around 5pm, I got a call telling me my son had hanged himself. But I am certain he was murdered,” his father said in the complaint. An FIR was lodged on the basis of the complaint against eight persons – five inmates, the girl’s parents and her uncle – for murder, criminal conspiracy and under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, on Tuesday.

District probation officer Nagender Pal Singh said a high-level probe has been ordered into the case.

“I had met him two days before that and he said he was in deep pain. He was crying and asking me to get him out because inmates, in collusion with juvenile home staffers, had thrashed him brutally,” his father, a hawker, said. “He had told me they broke his rib and he found it difficult to breathe. His hip bone had also been injured. What could I do? I told him I was trying hard to get him out. Now, he’s dead.”

The boy’s uncle said the case for which he was held was the reason why they believe the girl’s family may have been involved. “Our boy was just 16. So was the girl, who lived with her family on the upper floor of our house in Amroha on rent. They fell in love but the family moved out. The two stayed in touch,” he added. “The girl asked our boy to meet him and take her away. He made the mistake of eloping with her. The girl’s family filed a police complaint and he was held.”