Mumbai: 8-year old scalded for temple ‘breach’

Wardha: An eight-year old Dalit Matang boy in Arvi, Wardha, who was playing in the Jogana temple on Saturday, was made to sit on a hot tile by a local from the Kunbi community, causing him to suffer severe burns.

Incensed at this 'breach', Umesh, alias Amol Dhore, accused the boy of stealing some coins from the temple, tied his hands, stripped off his pants and forced him to sit on the hot tile in the temple.

The boy suffered severe burns and screamed in pain. When his mother tried to intervene, she was also subjected to verbal abuse. "When a passer-by heard the cries of the boy and his mother, he shouted and it was only then that Dhore left," said the boy's father, Gajanan Madhukar Khadse. Khadse has lodged a complaint with Arvi Police.

The incident occurred on Saturday and the accused was arrested at night. The minister of state for home (rural), Deepak Kesarkar, told media he had called for details and appropriate action would be taken.

However, Dalit organisations have expressed anguish and are outraged over yet another caste crime. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognisance of the incident and sought facts from Collector Vivek Bhimanwar and superintendent of police, Dr Basavraj Teli, Wardha.

As per complaint filed by Khadse, a boy of 7-8 years of age was playing in the temple. He was forcibly made to sit on a hot tile and got burnt. ‘‘We have arrested one person under the Atrocities (Prevention) Act and sections 326, 342 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code," said Pradeep Vairale, deputy superintendent of Police, Wardha.

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