On Tuesday, social media was abuzz with the reports that a Dalit boy was allegedly killed by upper caste men for praying in a temple.
Soon, ‘Dalit Lives Matter’ hashtag was being used by the usual suspects.
A Dalit boy was killed by boys from upper caste families after he prayed in a temple in Amroha, UP. Police is denying it rather suggesting it looks as a ‘fight’ between boys. This is how historically caste operates in India and continue to do today. #DalitLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/ufrCBzLTtB— The Dalit Voice (@ambedkariteIND) June 9, 2020
Dalit boy killed for praying in a temple.— Arfa Khanum Sherwani (@khanumarfa) June 10, 2020
There’s no community in the world that’s more persecuted and oppressed than the Dalit community in India. When will this tyranny end ? #DalitLivesMatter https://t.co/GSOEvXtGmm
Film director Neeraj Ghaywan, too joined in.
And another caste based atrocity will be whitewashed. Swept under the carpet of "nobody stops Dalits from doing anything; they choose not to".— Natasha Ramarathnam نتاشا رامارتنم (@nuts2406) June 10, 2020
We cannot allow it. https://t.co/Kk9ahnAyVv
Some even brought in the false equivalence to Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
#VikasJatav, a 17 yr old Dalit teen from Amroha, was shot dead by 4 members of an upper-caste family because he prayed in the temple. This is the only news I found on it. #DalitLivesMatter. Do they? Really? 1/nhttps://t.co/xs7dnSX8GM— Neeraj Ghaywan (@ghaywan) June 8, 2020
Kashmir-based journalist Fahad Shah also questioned whether there will be a campaign over this.
The depths of everyday violence on Dalits in this country is much greater even than that against Black people in the US. There can be no peace without justice, not until we confront this. https://t.co/Mv7o5ShLWS— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) June 10, 2020
No campaign for this? No social media trend? No media uproar? https://t.co/eMxjrgQXyS— Fahad Shah (@pzfahad) June 10, 2020
Following the Pulwama terror attack, Shah had spread rumours on social media that some Kashmiri girls were ‘trapped’ inside in a hostel at Dolphin college in Dehradun, asking for help since there was a mob outside. Uttarakhand Police had then dispelled the rumours.
Soon it was picked up by mainstream media too.
The reports quoted the victim’s father’s claims that the boy got into an altercation with some ‘upper caste’ youth in the village over entering the temple.
The Wire, too, reported the story.
However, that is not true. Amroha Police has clarified the above unfortunate incident had nothing to do with caste bias but it was an internal fight over a sum of Rs 5,000.
ग्राम डोमखेडा थाना हसनपुर, अमरोहा मे घटना के सम्बन्ध मे पुलिस द्वारा शीघ्र कार्यवाही कर 03 अभियुक्तो को गिरफ्तार कर जेल भेजा गया। दोनो पक्षो के मध्य बाग की बटाई के 5000 रुपये को लेकर विवाद होना विवेचना में पाया गया । पीडित पक्ष की आर्थिक व अन्य साहयता हेतु कार्यवाही की जा रही है।— Amroha Police (@amrohapolice) June 10, 2020
Police has ruled out caste dispute as cause of murder. As per police, 3 men have already been arrested in the case. The police stated that both the parties were caught in a dispute of ₹ 5000 over land issues. Further investigation is on in this matter.
Superintendent of Police, Amroha police station, Vipin Tada, also clarified that the dispute was over Rs 5,000.
The police officer said that the victim had partnership with the perpetrators of managing mango field and honeybee breeding. Over disputed money, the two groups fought. The youth then ran away from village but to avenge it had returned and killed the victim. The police has caught the suspect and further investigation is on.