Dog's day: Caste out after roti bite
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- Published 23.09.10
|Sheroo, the dog|
, Bhopal, Sept. 22: For Sheroo, it’s been a dog’s life.
The pet dog has been labelled an outcast(e) by his rich master and abandoned because he tucked into a roti offered by a Dalit woman.
Amrit Lal Dhakar aka Mitta, a caste-conscious landlord in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district, now wants Sunita to take care of the dog and pay him Rs 15,000 in damages. He has approached district collector M.K. Aggarwal for “justice” and adequate “compensation”.
Sunita has, in turn, gone to police seeking action against Mitta under the provisions for atrocities against weaker sections. Last night, Mitta drove her and her husband out of their Manikpur village home.
The bizarre fight has infuriated Aggarwal, who said that in his two years as collector, he had never come across such a case. “At one level, it is a sad commentary that deep-rooted casteism is prompting people to indulge in such unbecoming conduct,” he said.
About a fortnight ago, Sunita was carrying food for her husband Chandan Jatav, an agricultural labourer, in the fields when she saw the dog. Sensing it was hungry, she fished out a roti from her bag and fed him.
Just then, Mitta emerged from nowhere. Finding Sheroo eating something, he asked Sunita what her caste was and allegedly badmouthed her for “polluting” his pet.
A few days later, he landed up at Sunita’s home and told her to look after the dog “forever”. He also apparently demanded Rs 15,000 in compensation and left Sheroo behind despite Sunita saying her husband didn’t earn enough for them to keep a pet.
A week after that, Sunita was summoned to a public hearing by the district collector. As she narrated the sequence of events, she broke down saying Mitta was pressuring her to pay Rs 15,000 in lieu of the dog.
Aggarwal then asked the police to register a case against Mitta under the provisions for atrocities against Dalits and issue him a notice. Mitta has refused comment.