Dalit child in UP killed after dad opposes BJP MLA’s son’s crime

The body of 10-year-old Karan was found buried in the sand after Chetram protested against illegal sand mining activities carried out by Nishank Tripathi, son of BJP legislator Subhash Tripathi

Photo by Rajesh Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Rajesh Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Biswajeet Banerjee

Opposing the ruling party’s wrongdoings may prove irreparably costly as Chetram, a resident of Ghurdevi village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district, found out. Chetram, a Dalit, had opposed illegal mining allegedly being carried out by Nishank Tripathi, son of BJP legislator Subhash Tripathi. He had written letters to the District Magistrate and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, seeking their help. In the evening of last Wednesday, the body of Chetram’s 10-year-old son was found buried in the sand.

Chetram had lodged a complaint against Nishank Tripathi and seven others, saying they had threatened to kill him because he had opposed illegal mining in the village. “They had said that they will crush me and my family under JCB,” Chetram said in his written complaint. In rural India, JCB is used as a euphemism for bulldozers.

Chetram was leading the protest against illegal sand mining in Ghurdevi village on the banks of the Ghaghra river. After his letters to the DM and the CM failed to elicit a positive response, he had threatened to sit on a fast unto death from June 24. “Before I could intensify my protest, my son was killed,” he tells National Herald.

Police say that on Wednesday, Karan, 10, along with his friend Nisar, 12, had gone to the field to see how JCB machines work. When they did not return by the evening, villagers started searching for them. Karan’s body was found buried in the sand while Nisar’s body was found next day at the mining site near the river.

Sunil Saxena, Bahraich Superintendent of Police (SP) said that a case has been lodged against eight people but no one has been arrested so far.

This is not the first time that BJP lawmakers or their nearest kins or supporters have gone berserk and have taken law into their own hands. Early this month, Shriram Sonkar, BJP MLA from Mau, slapped a home guard who tried to stop the legislator’s SUV from entering the `No Entry zone’ near Sahkarita Bhawan crossing, a stone’s throw from Lok Bhawan, the seat of power in Lucknow.

Despite Traffic Police Inspector Premshankar Shahi telling the SSP, Lucknow, Deepak Kumar, that the BJP lawmaker had slapped home guard Amit Sarin in full public view, an FIR was lodged against “unknown” persons for manhandling a home guard on duty.

These are not isolated incidents. In the Yogi Adityanath government’s almost 100-day rule, there are innumerable incidents where BJP lawmakers have either misbehaved with or have beaten up officials on duty but the law has preferred to look the other way for obvious reasons.

  • In April this year, BJP MP from Saharanpur Raghav Lakhanpal, along with his supporters, vandalised the district SSP’s office and held the district police chief hostage for almost two hours. The then SSP, Saharanpur, Love Kumar, said in his report to the government that the BJP MP was a part of the crowd that vandalised his office.
  • In May, BJP MLA from Gorakhpur Radha Mohan Das Agarwal shouted at IPS officer Charu Nigam when she had gone to clear a traffic jam following a dharna organised by the lawmaker. He even told IG (Zone) and SSP, Gorakhpur, that they would be skinned alive “when he will move privilege motion against them in Vidhan Sabha.”
  • BJP MLA from Bareilly Keshar Singh thrashed a bank manager and kept him hostage, asking him to sign a loan waiver application of one of his supporters after the state government announced a farm loan waiver scheme.
  • BJP MP Priyanka Rawat used foul language against ASP Gyananjay Singh, accusing him as a mole of the previous Samajwadi Party Government. “Badal jao, Government badal gayee hai,” she had said.
  • Recently, another ruling party lawmaker from Sarojini Nagar, Swati Singh, was seen distributing Rs 100 currency notes in a Bhandara organised during Bada Mangal.

These incidents raise a big question mark over Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s control over his MLAs and MPs and the overall law and order situation in the state.

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Published: 23 Jun 2017, 2:51 PM