Gohana, Haryana: A 14-year-old boy was found dead yesterday with wounds all over his body, hours after he was taken away by the police in Haryana, which is battling anger after two young siblings of a Dalit or underprivileged family were burnt alive in their home on Monday.
The boy's family sat with his body on a road near their village in Gohana in Sonepat district for hours in protest, before finally agreeing to cremate him.
Govind was found hanging near his house. His family alleges that he was charged with the theft of a pigeon by local people and then beaten brutally by the police because he is a Dalit.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is under fire for the killing of the two children, has backed the police claim that the boy had committed suicide. He has promised a government job to the family as compensation.
But Govind's family has demanded Rs 10 lakh and action against two policemen who have been charged with beating the boy.
The police allegedly questioned the boy on Wednesday. When his mother went to get him, the policemen allegedly asked for money. She alleges that when she came with the money, she was told that he had escaped.
"My son went to the police station himself, nothing was proved against him. The policemen asked for Rs 5,000 from my son. He agreed but then they made a demand of 10,000 rupees," Govind's mother said.
His brother wondered how someone could run away from custody. "What is the point of the police being there? They took our money and killed him."
On Monday, a toddler and his 11-month-old sister died after their house was set on fire, allegedly by members of an upper caste community in a village in Faridabad, around 80 km away.
The incidents have taken a political turn with political parties accusing Haryana's ruling BJP of not protecting Dalits.
"Dalits are being discriminated against. It is clear what kind of government is in power. The BJP is against Dalits," said former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, the chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party.