"Untouchable" Teen Dies After Beating from Teacher Over Wrong Answer

Violent protests erupted over the death of a 15-year-old Dalit boy who was severely beaten by an "upper caste" teacher for making a mistake on an exam in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh.

The boy, Nikhil Dohre, was allegedly beaten by Ashwini Singh, a social science teacher, on September 7.

There are various reports on how the teacher physically abused the student. Some reports claim that the teacher used a "stick" to beat him. Other reports say the weapon used was a "rod." Some reports have further added that the teacher had also "kicked him until he fell unconscious."

After the incident, Dohre received medical treatment in Etawah and Lucknow. But his health deteriorated, and he was taken to a hospital with intensive care in Saifai. The formal declaration of death was determined the following day. However, the medical superintendent of the Saifai hospital claimed that the boy was brought dead, and the medical history will be released at a later date.

According to the police complaint filed by the father of the deceased, Raju Dohre, Ashwini initially promised to pay the expenses for the boy's medical treatment after the incident. However, after giving Rs. 40,000 to the father, he then stopped taking his calls. He then also allegedly abused the boy's father with casteist remarks when he went to confront him.

After the post-mortem, the body of the deceased was taken to his family. The protestors set two police vehicles on fire and damaged several private cars. Protestors also allegedly threw stones at police for not being able to catch the accused, who fled. Additional police forces were later dispatched to control the situation.

Police caught up to Ashwini after a week-long search. He was arrested on September 29.

Ashwini has been booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Under section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), and section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and the sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (prevention of atrocities) Act.

A video taken hours after the incident by the family showed the boy barely conscious, and his eyes appeared swollen, according to an NDTV report. The Superintendent of Police, Shishya Pal, said that the autopsy report ruled out any external or internal injuries and they think the boy died from sepsis from a bacterial infection.

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) have filed a complaint with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes seeking protection for the family. CJP also said it is against criminalizing protests “that have resulted in over 200 FIRs against protesters, including of the father of the boy who lost his life.”

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