A day after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar called the death of a 15-year-old Dalit teen in Gohana a case of suicide, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to probe his death.
The announcement of the SIT also comes a day after two Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) were booked for murder after the teen’s family alleged that he died in police custody.
On Friday, Haryana CM kicked up a storm by announcing that the boy’s death was a case of suicide. Khattar faced a lot of flak for his premature comment.
The Rohtak police has now revealed that the postmortem confirms that the death happened due to hanging and the SIT will further investigate the case to find out if it was custodial death or a case of suicide.
“The SIT has been formed in the case. The report of the postmortem, which was conducted by a board of doctors, says that the boy died due to hanging. There was also a mark on his neck,” the Rohtak Range Inspector General of Police, Shrikant Jadhav, told PTI on Saturday.
The SIT will be headed by Amit Bhatia, a DSP rank officer in Rohtak police, said Abhishek Garg, the Superintendent of Police in Sonipat.
Meanwhile, the boy’s family has alleged that he was beaten up by the police and died in custody. The boy was allegedly accused to have stolen a pigeon. The family carried out protests which led to the detention of two ASIs on Friday.
The ASIs have been booked for murder and also under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on the direction of National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission.
On Saturday, a day after the family protested, the town of Gohana was largely peaceful.
CM Khattar was criticised by the Opposition members after his statement to the press, where he said, “the postmortem report will throw light on why the suicide took place and for what reasons.” The CM then went on to say that the boy was not questioned by the police, in fact he had gone to the police himself over his family’s dispute with another family on money and pigeons.
The Congress party launched a scathing attack on the CM for claiming that the boy had committed suicide even before the investigation was over.
“When Chief Minister of the state like ML Khattar will pre-judge a case before investigation, may I ask who will punish the guilty in this country? It is shameful, it is condemnable and it is reprehensible,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala lashed out.
Surjewala also alleged that CM Khattar reflected his anti-dalit, anti-poor and anti-backward mindset which is “taught in the school of RSS and BJP.”
Outrage over the incident continues as the Gohana incident came just days after two Dalit children were allegedly burnt alive in Ballabhgarh in Faridabad district in Haryana.
(With inputs from PTI)