Dalit man set on fire for Rs.10

April 30th, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow, April 30 (IANS) Insistence upon the return of Rs.10 balance has cost a young Dalit man heavy - he is now battling for survival at a hospital after reportedly being doused in petrol and torched in a remote Etawah district village. Police Wednesday said Vinod Kumar Jatav, 22, purchased a litre of petrol from an illegal petrol shop owned by Chhana Pandit in Chandarpurwa village Monday night.

The shopkeeper took Rs.50 from Kumar but refused to return the balance Rs.10. This led to an argument which saw Pandit pouring petrol over Jatav and lighting the match. Jatav suffered 70 percent burns.

Passers-by rushed Jatav to hospital where his condition was said to be critical.

Assistant Superintendent of Police R.P. Gautam in Etawah confirmed the incident Wednesday and said that Pandit had absconded and was yet to be arrested.

Pandit has been charged with attempt to murder and also booked under the Prevention of Atrocities (Scheduled Castes and Tribes) Act. Gautam said a manhunt had been launched to nab him.

Controversy, meanwhile, clouded the actions of the Ekdil police station, under whose jurisdiction the village falls, which initially told local media that the incident was a mishap.

Police at Ekdil reportedly said Pandit had lit a candle to show Jatav the quantity of petrol in the jerry can which accidentally caught fire.

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