Just a day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Goalkeeper” award for his efforts to end open defecation in the country, two children were allegedly beaten to death for defecating on a street in front of a panchayat building in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district.
According to the police, the incident took place on Wednesday when 12-year-old Chandani and 10-year-old Ram (changed names) were attacked by two men while defecating near a village road. The accused, Rameshwar Yadav and Hakim Yadav, who were from upper caste, had beaten the children to death with sticks.
Chandani was Ram’s cousin but was being brought up his parents. Ram’ father, who works as a daily wager, said that he can’t afford to build a toilet at his house and he didn’t receive any government subsidy as well.
The police have registered a case of murder and both the accused have been arrested. They were being questioned about their crime, police said. Meanwhile, the incident involving two lower caste children has triggered a political row as well.
BSP president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, known for being the voice of people from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, has slammed the state government for “failing to provide proper toilet facilities”.
“Besides keeping millions of Dalits, backwards and religious minorities deprived of government facilities, they have also been made a victim of all kinds of malicious atrocities and in such a situation the dastardly violence of two Dalit youth in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri is most unfortunate and condemnable,” the BSP chief tweeted.
In another tweet, she said, “The Congress and BJP governments should explain why proper toilet facilities have not been provided in the houses of poor Dalits and backward communities? If this truth is very bitter then those who beat to death the Dalits for being forced to defecate in the open should be hanged.”
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has urged Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who belongs to her own party, to ensure that the family of the vicitms get justice and that such violent incidents doesn't happen.