Gram Panchayat in Bihar's Kishanganj district imposes social boycott on Dalits

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 10:30 hrs

The Gram Panchayat (village council) of Charakhpura village in Kishanganj district of Bihar has ordered a social and economic boycott of Dalits, following their decision to lodge a complaint against an alleged assault with a girl from their community.

The village council called upon the locals and told them not to sell provisions to the Dalits and exclude them from other facilities.

The problem began after a Muslim woman had a fight with a Dalit girl over picking up dung from a field on February 4.

According to the police officials there were rumours that the people belonging to the girl's community, were planning to file a case under the Atrocities Against SC/ST Act, after the incident and in anticipation, members of the village council had a meeting in which they told the Muslim community to socially and economically boycott them.

"As majority in the village are Muslims, the village council met and decided to impose social and economic boycott. The mother of the girl has lodged a complaint against the village council chief, the head of the village and members of the district administration. The complaint has been registered and the investigation is going on," said Manoj Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Kishanganj.

Local vendors were also barred from selling any food products and other commodities to members of the lower caste.

"We have been ordered by the village council to not sell any goods or commodities to them. If we sell goods to them, then the council will impose a fine of Rs.25,000 on us," said Majebur Rehman, a local vendor.

Following the diktat, the denial of employment, food, health facilities and education for their children, has brought the lives of the Dalits to an abrupt halt in the village.

"We go to buy some bamboos, but they refuse to sell any. For the past eight days we do not have any work. I have six children and we have no means to feed them," said Bimla Devi, a Dalit women of the village. (ANI)

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