“The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The Act is popularly known as the SC/ST Act, POA, the Prevention of Atrocities Act, or simply the Atrocities Act.”
Violation of this act in Uttar Pradesh isn’t surprising anymore, thanks to the deep-rooted caste system. Quite recently a 17-year-old Dalit boy was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh after he prayed at the village temple defying upper-caste objections. A similar incident driven by caste-based discrimination is reported in Pimple Saudagar Suburb in Pune, Maharashtra.
Viraj Vilas Jagtap, a 20-year-old man was brutally thrashed for being in an inter-caste relationship with a woman belonging to an “upper caste” family. The ghastly incident happened on the night of June 7. The FIR states that initially Viraj on his bike was being chased by six people in a tempo. They hit his motorbike from at the back of after which he fell down and started out running. After chasing him further, one of the accused hit him on the head with a heavy metallic rod and some others threw a rock at him. Four of the accused held his arms and legs even as Jagdish used casteist slurs in opposition to him and spat at him for being in a relationship with his daughter.
Police recognized the four captured people as the girl’s dad, Jagdish Kate, sibling Sagar, uncle Kailas and, cousin Hemant. Two minors from the family have likewise been kept. An FIR has been lodged by Viraj's uncle, Jitesh Jagtap.
Reports say Viraj was a second-year student in the Arts stream at a local college and was working part-time in the transport business.
“On the night of the attack, Viraj got a call between 9 pm and 9.30 pm. He left home on his bike. A few hours later, my other nephew got a call on his mobile phone that Viraj had been in a fight in Pimple Saudagar. We went to the spot and found him lying there with injuries on the head and other parts of the body. He was still conscious, so we rushed him to a hospital and, in the meantime, Viraj told me what had happened,” Jitesh told in an interview with The Indian Express.
Jitesh further added, “We want police to investigate the matter without being biased and ensure that the accused get maximum punishment. Viraj is survived by his mother. He lost his father when he was only one year old.”
Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Sandeep Bishnoi said a further investigation was on. Inspector Ajay Bhosale, Sangvi police station, spoke to The Indian Express, “The accused have been booked for murder, unlawful assembly and also under relevant sections of SC/ST Act. They have alleged that Viraj was stalking and harassing the girl and had been warned before. On the night of the incident, they had an argument followed by a fight. We will also speak to the girl to know her side of things.
Police have captured four relatives of the girl and confined two minors, every one of whom have been reserved for homicide and under provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.