Madhya Pradesh: Harrassed by class teacher, Dalit student hangs self

Amit, a student of Navodaya Vidyalaya Chirhut Sarra
Amit, a student of Navodaya Vidyalaya Chirhut SarraPhoto courtesy- Satish Bhartiya

In a latest incident of caste harassment, a Dalit boy hanged himself to death in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh. The incident which triggered another round of debate on the caste discrimination taking place throughout the country, was reported from Padkhuri village of Rampur (Sakin) police station area, where Amit Prajapati, an eighth grader of Navodaya Vidyalaya Chirhut Sarra, died by hanging himself.

What made Amit take this step?

The Mooknayak spoke to the family members of the deceased to know more details. Amit's father Alha said, "His class teacher and house master Ajit Pandey discriminated and harassed him on the caste line at Navodaya Vidyalaya. Amit told us that Pandey kept telling him that he came from a low caste and hence has no right to study in the school". Amy's father said that they once spoke to the teacher about this matter after Amit's repeated complaints. But the teacher pacified them by telling that they scolded the child so that he concentrates on his studies and earns a good name. "We tried to convince our son that Ajit was his teacher and like a parent. And that he was being scolded for his own good" the father said.

Amit, a student of Navodaya Vidyalaya Chirhut Sarra
Cats & Dogs have a better life than Dalit students in varsity campuses!

Alha Prajapati further added, "On 22nd December morning, my son called and told that that he was unwell and wanted to come home. Then his mother and younger brother went to pick him up, but Amit was not permitted to leave the school. Later midnight, two persons brought Amit home claiming he was unwell while we were not informed about this by the school".

Later Amit told his family that Ajit Pandey sir tortured and insulted him and he refused to go back to school. On the fateful night of January 1, he ended his life.

Amit’s father also shared a suicide note to The Mooknayak. The excerpts are as follows: “I know you must be feeling very bad. I took this step because I have become filthy internally, I couldn't give up my bad habit. I got very stressed that what should I do, I was missing my sir (teacher). My guru ji, tell me one thing that if a mistake happens, can't it be forgiven? I think the mistake can be forgiven. I did all this at the behest of Ajit Pandey. I committed a mistake that day, he abused me verybadly, called me very bad and my parents beggars. He called me a drug addict, a worm in a dirty drain. Then he also said that I should die after consuming poison or hang myself.”

accused teacher
accused teacherPhoto courtesy- Satish Bhartiya

It is further written in the suicide note: "Papa please give up alcohol after my death and get Ajit Pandey arrested. For the many lives he has ruined." At the bottom he wrote "Sorry Papa", followed by Amit's signature and the date 31/12/2022.

When asked about the legal action Amit's father said that they had spoken to the police and come to know that a high level investigation is underway. However, the family seems inconsolable. "Whatever be the fate of investigation, our son is gone. We only demand justice so that our son's soul may rest in peace. If the accused has done wrong, he deserves to be punished".

The Mooknayak also tried to talk to the teachers of Navodaya Vidyalaya at Chirhut Sarra, but could not get through. The school principal too was told to be out of station when the reporter tried to connect with her over the phone.

Story Translated By Pratikshit Singh.

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