Tragedy Strikes Dalit Family in Madhya Pradesh: BJP Faces Scrutiny Amid Police Inaction

Chief Minister Mohan Yadav recently visited survivors and assured them of safety. However, for the family, it feels like too little, too late.
The Dalit woman, whose brother was earlier killed allegedly by "upper caste" and Muslim community goons, died by "falling of the ambulance", which was carrying her uncle’s dead body.
The Dalit woman, whose brother was earlier killed allegedly by "upper caste" and Muslim community goons, died by "falling of the ambulance", which was carrying her uncle’s dead body.Photo:

New Delhi: The death of three members of a Dalit family in Madhya Pradesh over the past year, in separate incidents, highlight significant failures in police protection and raise serious concerns about the safety and security of marginalized communities.

Chief Minister Mohan Yadav’s recent visit to the family, promising enhanced security, has been seen by the family as a delayed response that comes after irreparable losses.

In August 2023, an 18-year-old boy was allegedly killed by members of the Thakur and Muslim communities. This was linked to a 2019 assault case filed by his sister, with the accused pressuring the family to withdraw the case.

On May 25, 2024, the victim’s uncle, a witness to the murder, was stabbed to death while buying groceries.

On May 26, 2024, the sister, who filed the 2019 assault case, died under suspicious circumstances — allegedly falling out of an ambulance carrying her uncle’s body.

Inadequate Police Protection

Following the first incident, the death of the 18-year-old, the victim’s family was provided with security — which was later removed. This removal of security, according to the family, emboldened the accused — leading to further violence.

Despite the presence of security measures like CCTV cameras, they were non-functional — indicating negligence or lack of maintenance. This highlights significant lapses in ensuring the family’s safety and the effectiveness of protective measures.

Family’s Perspective

The family feels abandoned and betrayed by the authorities. The removal of security, especially during a critical period before elections, left them vulnerable. The mother of the deceased siblings and the surviving brothers expressed their frustration and fear — questioning why their protection was compromised.

The surviving family members — now laborers earning meager wages — face economic difficulties in addition to their safety concerns. The family’s aspirations for education — represented by the 21-year-old woman who was the first to attend college — were tragically cut short by her death.

Political and Administrative Response

While CM Yadav’s visit and promise to establish a police outpost are steps in the right direction, they are perceived as too late by the family — given the extent of their losses.

A senior police officer cited election duties as the reason for the removal of security officers. It underscores systemic issues in resource allocation and prioritization.

The Congress party has criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for failing to maintain law and order, with Rahul Gandhi personally reaching out to the family — emphasizing the political dimensions of this crisis.

Legal Background and Ongoing Tensions

The conflict between the victim’s family and the accused dates back to 2019, involving multiple FIRs and allegations of violence and intimidation from both sides.

The police have arrested five individuals in connection with the uncle’s murder, but the family remains under threat — questioning the overall effectiveness of these actions.

The family needs continuous protection — possibly including relocation to a safer area if necessary; insurance that CCTV cameras and other security measures are operational and regularly maintained; a thorough investigation into all incidents to bring the perpetrators to justice. The incident also calls for an understanding of the systemic failures that led to these tragedies.

The victims also need legal aid and community support, including counseling and economic assistance to help them rebuild their lives.

Systemic issues within law enforcement must be addressed to ensure better protection for vulnerable communities — particularly during periods of political and administrative transitions like elections.

The tragic deaths underscore the urgent need for systemic changes in the protection and support of marginalized communities in India. While political assurances and visits are necessary, they must be backed by concrete actions and sustained efforts to prevent such tragedies from recurring.

The family’s ordeal is a stark reminder of the work that remains in ensuring justice and safety for all citizens — especially those from historically oppressed backgrounds.

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