Dalit Woman Stripped, Beaten to Death

THE TELEGRAPH, http://www.telegraphindia.com/, March 18, 2000

Dalit Woman Stripped, Killed


Lucknow, March 17

Days ahead of Bill Clinton's visit to Agra, a Dalit woman was stripped and beaten to death by two men in broad daylight even as villagers stood by helplessly and watched the gory spectacle to its tragic end.

Twenty-three-year-old Sukhviri Devi of Nagla village in Agra district made the mistake of crossing the path of Virendra Pal and Vijay Pal, carrying an empty matka. The price she paid for it was death.

The Pal brothers, who were going to their fields in a tractor, were enraged to see that Sukhviri did not have the "decency" to stop and allow them passage when she knew that it was inauspicious to cross someone's path with an empty matka.

Getting down from their vehicle, they first tried to throttle the woman and when she tried to scream for help, smashed her head on the ground.

Not content with that, they stripped her and beat her mercilessly even as a crowd that gathered, stood by mutely with none daring to risk the ire of the Pals.

Virendra and Vijay then left an unconscious Sukhviri on the road and drove away. When neighbours rushed her to a nearby hospital she was pronounced dead.

Confirming the murder, O.P. Sharma, head constable attached to the SSP, Agra, S.K. Singh, said he "had heard about the death", but had to find out why the Kagaraul police station had not taken any action yet.

Though the young Dalit girl was thrashed to death in broad daylight and in the midst of about a dozen villagers, there were no witnesses available and the police have made no arrests.

After his visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Clinton, ironically, will be addressing a select gathering on human rights and our environment.

Shankar Nadar
Dalitstan Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3 (April 2000)

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