Another horrific instance of caste-based violence against people from marginalised caste communities has come to headlines in the BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Aneesh Kumar Chaudhary, a Gram Panchayat officer from the Dalit community was murdered on July 24 allegedly by people from the oppressive Brahmin caste community in Gorakhpur district, the home turf of CM Yogi Adityanath.
Aneesh had recently got married to his colleague Deepti Mishra who comes from the Brahmin community against the latter’s family who opposed their marriage vehemently in the name of caste pride. Deepti and Aneesh’s family members have accused Deepti’s natal family of murdering him.
Aneesh and Deepti met each other during their post-graduation at Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay University, Gorakhpur, and later during the training when they were selected for the post of Gram Panchayat Officers.
Deepti said that once her parents and relative became aware of her relationship with Aneesh, a series of harassment began citing their different caste backgrounds.
It was to escape that harassment that the inter-caste couple decided to marry, hoping for acceptance from Deepti’s family. According to the marriage papers, both of them got married on 12 May 2019 in Gorakhpur and their marriage was recognized by the court on 9 December 2019.
‘We were both adults and were employed, so it seemed that the family members would not oppose this marriage and even if they did, we would convince them. I also tried to convince my family members a lot. But they did not agree,’ BBC Hindi quoted Deepti.
After coming to know about the marriage, Deepti said that her family members started torturing her mentally. Her father and mother tried to convince her out of the marriage by saying that they will get a heart attack and die because of what she did. They even went on to threaten to kill Aneesh, she said.
Aneesh was murdered on July 24 when he had gone out for some work in Gopalpur Market with his uncle and Devi Dayal, a village development officer posted in the Uruwa block. While they were returning from their visit, Aneesh was murdered by four armed men who have covered their faces.
His uncle Devi Dayal who tried to save him from the attackers was also injured. He is the sole witness in this case and is currently undergoing treatment under police protection. However, Aneesh’s family has alleged that Mr. Devi Dayal is not being provided enough security by the police.
Aneesh’s brother Anil Choudhary was elected ten times for the Gram Pradhan position in his village Dabauli. Mr. Choudhary has demanded police security for his family and Deepti and strict action against the accused in the case. Furthermore, he has demanded financial help and a government job for a member of the family, BBC reported.
In this case, 17 people have been accused, out of which four people named Manikant Mishra (Deepti’s uncle), Vivek Tiwari, Abhishek Tiwari, and Sunny Singh have been arrested by the local police.
Gola police station has registered the case on the complaint of Aneesh’s brother Anil Chaudhary. Section 302, 307, 506, and 120-B of the IPC as well as Section 3(2)(V) of the SC-ST Act have also been invoked in the FIR.
The police have said that the morder is a caste based violence.