Apex child rights body NCPCR has sought strict action by the Rajasthan government against those responsible for allegedly beating to death a nine-year-old Dalit boy for touching a drinking water pot.
Indra Meghwal, a dalit student of a private school in Surana village of Rajasthan's Jalore district, was beaten up by his teacher on July 20 for touching a water pot and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Ahmedabad on August 13.
Police have arrested the teacher, Chail Singh, 40, and charged him with murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in a letter to the district magistrate, said the matter is serious and sought copies of the FIR, action taken by the administration against the accused and a transcript of the action taken by the police administration within seven days.
The state education department has initiated an inquiry into the matter and Rajasthan SC Commission chairman Khiladi Lal Bairwa ordered that it be taken up under the case officer's scheme for fast investigation.
Superintendent of Police of Jalore Harsh Vardhan Agarwalla said the boy was beaten up badly and added that the reason cited for it touching a drinking water pot was yet to be ascertained.
A BJP MLA in Rajasthan has said on August 16, that it was doubtful that the nine-year-old Dalit boy, who died after allegedly being beaten by a school teacher, was thrashed because he touched a water pot used by upper-caste people.
He, however, said the facts will come out only after the investigation gets over.
"I have spoken to villagers and others. According to them, there is doubt that the incident occurred because the boy was of Meghwal community and he touched the water pot," BJP MLA from Jalore, Jogeshwar Garg said.
"There is no doubt that the boy was beaten up by the teacher and he died. The accused has been arrested and an investigation is being held. Whether he was beaten up for being Meghwal and touching the water pot will be clear in the probe," he said.
Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra, party leader Sachin Pilot and the BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena are scheduled to visit Surana village in Jalore to meet the boy's family on Tuesday.