India

#DalitLivesMatter: Netizens Spark Off Outrage Over Latest Atrocity Targeting Dalit Girls in India

The three underage Dalit (disadvantaged caste) girls, aged 13-17, from Uttar Pradesh had left home on Wednesday afternoon to obtain animal fodder. When they did not return home by late evening, the family started a search and found two girls dead in a field and the third girl unconscious; she is in hospital in critical condition.

A yet another shocking incident of atrocities against Dalit girls in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh has triggered massive outrage on social media, raising questions on the safety of women and people from oppressed-community in the country.

While the two girls, who were cousins, were found tied up with clothes late in the evening in a field in Unnao district’s Babura village, the third girl was found unconscious; villagers took her to a local hospital immediately.

As an investigation is underway, the local police said that it could be a case of poisoning, with no signs of a struggle at the site and no injury marks found prima facie on the girls.

​With #DalitLivesMatters, netizens have taken to social media expressing their anger over the incident, which took place on Wednesday.

​Tweeting about the horrific incident, Bollywood actress Richa Chadha said, “Heaven and hell exist on Earth and Unnao is hell for women, particularly the most vulnerable of them (sic).”

Many netizens have been sharing videos of the Dalit girls’ family grieving and demanding an immediate police investigation into this case.

While six police teams have been formed to investigate the matter, a dog squad was also called to the spot.

​This is not the only case of atrocities against Dalit girls in Uttar Pradesh, a northern state in India. In October last year, the gruesome gang rape case of a dalit girl in Hathras district shocked the entire nation and triggered massive protests in India.

As per the government data, over 4,200 cases of atrocities targeting Dalits and Tribal citizens in the country were reported. In India, the government guarantees special status to those once thought of as “untouchable”; these groups are called “Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes”). 

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