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Dalit students live in fear after boy touches non-Dalit’s plate

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Jodhpur: Students in Jodhpur live in fear one week after a 12-year-old Dalit student was severely beaten by a teacher for touching a plate “meant for non-Dalits” during the mid-day meal at his school.

The incident was reported from Berdo Ka Bas panchayat in Jodhpur’s Osian block where a teacher at the Rajkiya Ucch Madhyamik Vidyalaya severely beaten a Class 4 student for touching jat’s plate.

The teacher ‘Hemaram’ who beaten the student was arrested by police, but later released on bail. Since then the Dalit family has allegedly been receiving death threats from local Jat youths.

“The Jats are unhappy with the action taken against the teacher, so their youths keep threatening the dalit families. They have threatened Narpat, saying they will kill him so that he won’t be able to pursue the case against jat teacher.

“My son came home crying, and started vomiting,” said Malaram, father of the victim. “When I reached the school to confront them over the discrimination, one teacher held me by the throat and Hemaram attacked me with a stick, injuring my arm,” said Malaram.

A Class 9 student Raju Ram told The Indian Express that he still can’t touch his classmate and best friend Deeparam, who is a Jat. Ram says he “cannot touch the water bucket at school, and my Jat classmates or teachers pour water into my palm with a mug”.

“In classrooms too, we have a separate seating arrangement,” and meals for Dalits are served more than 80 km away from Jats. Back in the village, the horror stories continue. “