Protests have erupted in India after a 15-year-old student from the Dalit community, the lowest placed in the Hindu caste system, was allegedly beaten to death by his teacher for making a spelling mistake. That confirms the Indian police to Reuters news agency. The demonstrations started in the Auraiya district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where the incident took place. The teacher is still on the run and is wanted by the police. An autopsy has yet to confirm the boy’s exact cause of death.
Nikil Dohre, 15, was beaten and kicked by his teacher earlier this month after misspelling the word “social” in an exam. That’s what the boy’s family says to the police. The student died of his injuries in hospital on Monday, 19 days after the incident. After his death, hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against the caste system and discrimination against Dalits. About 12 people were arrested during the demonstrations.
Dalits belong to the lowest level according to the Indian caste system and have been victims of discrimination and (sexual) violence for centuries. Dalits used to be called the “untouchables” because some higher caste Indians don’t want to touch them. Although caste discrimination is officially banned, crime against Dalits increased, according to the National Crime Records Bureau from 45,961 cases in 2019 to 50,291 cases in 2020.