Two months after a Dalit man’s charred body was found tied to tree at Kasyan village in Bhilwara district, the police seem to be clueless in the case.

The body of Gangaram Balai (60), a native of Ummaidnagar village under Itamaria Gram Panchayat in Bhilwara district, was found in the Mogarwasa mining area of Kasyan village on March 1, 2019. He worked as a gardener in the mining area.

On the day of incident, people living in the area saw the burning body at around 5.45 am and informed the police. His elder brother, Narayan Balai, filed a first information report (FIR) in the case at the Bijoli police station the same day.

In the FIR, Narayan alleged that his brother Gangaram was tied to a tree and burnt alive.

The post-mortem report says Gangaram died of serious burns, said Yogesh Yadav, superintendent of police, Bhilwara. Gangaram’s clothes and mobile phone were found 10-15 ft away from the body, the police said.

A twist came in the case when police found a suicide note in the pocket of Gangaram’s shirt. The note said that Gangaram was in trouble related to his daughter’s marriage.

However, his family members said that Gangaram was illiterate. “My uncle was unmarried and illiterate. He didn’t know how to write?” said Gangaram’s nephew Madan Lal Meghwanshi (26). “Somebody had burnt my uncle alive. A 5-litre canister containing some quantity of kerosene was recovered from the spot. The letter was planted in his pocket,” Meghwanshi alleged.

He said police did not pay heed to their pleas. “Whenever I go to police station, the policemen give me and my family fake assurances. Now, they have stopped responding to my phone too. I met Bhilwara SP Yogesh Yadav. He said ‘we are investigating’, but two months have passed and they have not come to any conclusion,” Meghwanshi alleged.

When asked about the progress in the case investigation, Yadav said, “Till now, there has been no progress in the murder case of Gangrama Balai. Till now, it seems to be a case of suicide only. No other angle has come to light in the investigation so far.”

Tarchand Vemra, the state coordinator of Human Rights Law Network, debunked the police argument. “His whole body was found burnt. How could he hang and burn himself at the same time? How can he write about his daughter, who never existed?” he asked.

Bijolia police station in-charge Baldev Ram said all the angles are being investigated. He said suicide is one of the possibilities they are looking at, but the case has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC, which deals with punishment for murder.

Meghwanshi said Gangaram left the Ummaidnagar village nearly 30 years ago and started living on the premises of the famous Tilaswa Mahadev temple in the Shapura area, where he started practising horticulture in stone mining area.

First Published:
May 13, 2019 14:19 IST

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