Indian police hunt down teacher who allegedly caused death of Dalit boy
- The 15-year-old was reportedly assaulted by the teacher after he made mistakes on a school test a few weeks ago
- The case has sparked violent protests in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state
The 15-year-old student’s death has sparked violent protests in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state.
Indian news outlet NDTV reported that the teenager was assaulted by the teacher after he made mistakes on a school test a few weeks ago. He finally succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.
The police chief of Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district, Charu Nigam, told Reuters that doctors were conducting a postmortem to confirm the cause of the teen’s death and a police investigation was ongoing.
The boy belonged to the Dalit community, the lowest rung of India’s rigid caste hierarchy. Formerly known as “untouchables”, Dalits are often victims of caste-based discrimination in India and experience thousands of attacks every year.
Police told NDTV that the boy’s father alleged his son was beaten with sticks, rods and was then kicked until he fell unconscious. The family has filed a police complaint, but the teacher remains at large.
“Police are trying to trace the teacher as he has gone missing,” district police chief Nigam said.
The teacher had initially paid 40,000 rupees (US$491) for the boy’s treatment but later stopped receiving phone calls from the family, according to the police complaint.
“At first my nephew was beaten brutally by the teacher, and then abused as we are Dalits,” Rishi Kumar, an uncle of the boy, told Reuters.
“The teacher hails from the upper caste, he killed [my nephew] and later hurled casteist slurs when we demanded monetary compensation,” he added.
Dalit supporters of the family had initially staged a silent sit-in protest near the school where the teen studied. However, the protests soon turned violent, with people allegedly throwing stones at police officers and setting a police van on fire, NDTV reported.