The Times of India
July 5, 2008
UNA: A 16-year-old Dalit boy died after he was thrashed in front of other students by an upper caste teacher in a rural higher secondary school of this Himachal district for writing a verse in appreciation of an upper caste girl.
Surjit Singh was beaten up on Tuesday by a teacher in the Nangal Kalan Government High school in public, said the Dalit sarpanch of the village Gyan Kaur. His two classmates said, "When the teacher came to know about the Surjit’s love poem, he caned him till he almost dropped dead."
That was not the end of his ordeal; he was again beaten up by the family members of the girl the next day, Wednesday. Surjit was later found semi-conscious and taken to the hospital but succumbed to injuries.
Local leaders have sought an inquiry into the incident as the police appear to be siding with the upper caste girl’s family and the teacher.
The result of the post mortem examination is awaited to establish what caused the boy’s death. Police haven’t revealed any motive behind his unnatural death. School headmaster, Bhagat Ram, expressed his ignorance about the incident saying he was out of school on the day of the incident.
The accused teacher is on leave and is inaccessible. Surjit’s father, Telu Ram, a labourer, said, "How can I think of filing a case? I have no money."
SP, Una, Gyaneshwar Singh, when asked why no case had been registered in this regard, said that the police was still investigating the case.
"Both Surender Koli and Moninder Singh were aware of the local area and the caste background of the poor people and they took advantage of this fact and lured little children," said Ms. Namala.
The group has recommended that the terms of reference of the Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry should clearly spell out that the Nithari killings were one of the worst atrocities committed against Dalits.
It has demanded that the accused be booked under Section 3(1) (xii) and 3(2) (v) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.
Seeking the United Nations’ intervention, the group has said the General Assembly should request the Secretary-General to conduct an in-depth international study on the "violence against Dalit children and women in India."