The burnt body of a Dalit man found outside the office of a mining company in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan last week has rights activists and the authorities at odds. The body of 60-year-old Gangaram, a gardener at the company, was found on Friday in Bjiolia. The company is owned by a leader of the ruling Congress. Wires were used to tie up Gangaram to rubber tires.
A suicide letter, reportedly found near Gangaram’s body, has complicated things further. In the note, Gangaram allegedly wrote the cause of his suicide was related to trouble in his daughter’s marriage.
The gardener’s family claims he could not have written it. “He was not literate. There is a mention of trouble regarding the daughter’s marriage in the letter because Gangaram did not even marry. What did he do to be burnt to death with such brutality?” questioned Madan, Gangaram’s nephew.
Police said the body was sent for postmortem.“Nothing has been found to confirm a killing. We have received a suicide note in his shirt. He was illiterate but he knew how to write a little…” Additional SP Dilip Sainee said.
But the chief functionary of the Centre for Dalit Rights, PL Neemraut, debunked the argument. “His whole body was found burnt… Why didn’t the suicide note burn? How can he write about his daughter, who never existed?” he asked.