Amnesty seeks probe into death of Dalit activist in UP

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New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Rights group Amnesty India on Wednesday urged the Uttar Pradesh government to probe if the killing of a Dalit activist in Saharanpur was a hate crime.

“The Uttar Pradesh government must investigate whether Sachin Walia was killed in a hate crime,” Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India, said in a statement.

Basu said the member of the Bhim Army, a Dalit rights organisation, was killed as Dalits in Saharanpur were facing several caste-based attacks and the perpetrators of such violence around this time last year “are yet to be punished”.

Walia, the brother of the Saharanpur district president of the Bhim Army, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the Uttar Pradesh town on Wednesday.

The Amnesty statement recalled that on May 5 a Dalit man was killed, at least 14 seriously injured, and at least 50 Dalit homes partially or completely burnt in Shabbirpur village by dominant caste Thakur men, following a clash between members of the two communities over a dispute about a procession.

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“The Uttar Pradesh authorities must ensure that similar attacks don’t occur again, and end impunity for hate crimes against Dalits in the state.”

–IANS

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