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Dalit witness to Koregaon-Bhima violence suspected to have committed suicide

Dalit witness to Koregaon-Bhima violence suspected to have committed suicide

Pune: A 19-year-old Dalit girl who was found dead in a well near the temporary rehabilitation camp in Koregaon’s Bhima village near Pune on Sunday, the police suspects is a case of suicide.

The Dalit girl and her family were witnesses to the arson and violence that broke out in the village on January 1st while the village was celebrating the 200th year of Battle of Koregaon-Bhima by several Dalit groups which were opposed by right-wing Hindutva groups leading to violence in the region.

The family was involved in a legal dispute over construction on a piece of land next to their house with two members who the family believes are behind their daughter’s loss.

The Police have arrested the two men involved in the dispute and booked seven others under the SC and ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The family was waiting for rehabilitation after their house was burnt in the violence. The victim was an intermediate second-year student said the Police.

The victim had reportedly gone missing from the house since Friday night. The family approached the Police after they failed to locate her in the village and the nearby areas.

The last rituals were performed for the victim amid heavy Police deployment.

Suvez Haque SP (Pune rural) investigating the case said, “Based on the postmortem report, it prima facie looks like a case of suicide. No suicide note has yet been found. A case of abetment of suicide has been registered against nine persons based on allegations made by the family. Two of these people, with whom the family has a civil litigation going on, have been arrested.”

The other seven booked under the SC and ST Act are identified as Vilas Vedpathak, Ganesh Pathak, Navnath Darekar, Somnath Darekar, Vilas Darekar, Adv Sudhir Dhamdhere, Subhash Ghavate, Goraksh Thorat and Ganesh Thorat, few of which are involved in the case.

“We are also probing the family’s allegation that the girl ended her life as they had not yet been rehabilitated. Some other angles are also being probed.”

When the SP was asked whether the victim or her family were threatened or thrashed for being the witnesses to the January 1st violence, Haque said, “The family has not made any such allegation.”

According to villagers, the victim left the house after having a tiff with her father, but the Police investigating the case have said no angle in the case has been ruled out and the Police are looking at all angles in the death of the victim.

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from The Siasat Daily

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