This is a transcription of a news report, by Amesh, which originally appeared in Left Click News. It was translated from Malayalam by Dhanya Madhav.
A Dalit man was brutally assaulted and murdered for just Rs. 30. This gruesome murder of a human for the sake of just Rs.30 happened not in some interiors. Thulasi, resident of Ambalamkunnu Maravancode, Kottarakkara Taluk in Kollam district, Kerala, was murdered. After the dissension between Thulasi and ex-service man Yatheendra Das, his companion Mohanan, they came in a group to Thulasi's house and attacked him. Yatheendra Das and Mohan are in Police Custody currently. After being brutally assaulted on Sunday, Thulasi was admitted to hospital only on Monday morning and his neck was broken and rib severely injured in the assault. Thulasi was the only income source of the family with his wife Vilasini, widowed daughter who is mentally ill, her two kids.
Vilasini, victim's wife claims that both the accused have come home just before the incidentand they started threatening for Rs. 30. They followed Thulasi to home while he was returning home after work, and then started demanding the money and tried to beat with the stick they carried with them. Vilasini intervened and asked to solve these problems outside the home and not to create violence coming to home. Yatheesh Das had threatenedthat with the help of army he will persecute them.and went away. Then Vilasini went to neighbour's house when only Thulasi and grandchildren were there at the home. When she returned after 20 minutes, she found Thulasi unconscious in a 20 feet deep pit. She assumed that he had fallen due to liquor consumption and took him to house, she didn't realize the gravity of the situation then.
When he gained his consciousness, it was around 10 pm, and he was trembling with severe body pain. He narrated what happened to him after she left,he said that he had received remorseless attack by the accused due to which his neck,was broken and spine was severely injured which later led to his death. Even though he had severe pain, Vilasini was unable to take him to hospital due to lack of money and no support. Next day morning with the help of their neighbor, Thulasi was held climbing over the hill to reach the road and then taken to the Kottarakkara Taluk hospital. After detailed examination of the victim doctors affirmed that he is suffering with fatal neck injury,and advised them to take the victim to the nearest medical college for better treatment, but due to lack of money Vilasini requested to admit him in the same hospital. By evening Thulasi was dead.
The people residing in Ambalamkunnu Maravukode colony (Dalit colony) complains that alcohol and cannabis or marijuana mafia is getting stronger in colony than before, and it is creating severe social issues among them. Mohanan, who is one among the accused is the main distributor of marijuana in that area. The other accused Yatheendra Das is an ex-serviceman, and neighbors alleged that one more person was there along with the them. After assaulting Thulasi, the accused declared publicly in a nearby shop that they have beaten, kicked and pushed Thulasi to a pit and don't think he will survive
Vilasini says that after brutally murdering a human being like a dog the accused should not escape and such a situation should not happen to anyone. She demands that these accused who have high influence in the society and strength of relations should not escape using loopholes in law and all accused should be brought to the law through a fair investigation. This incident shows the situation of Dalit colonies in which each of such murders will be reduced to the narrow death columns of newspapers which no one would even come to know. It's a very fierce situation where a Dalit could be murdered over just Rs.30 or by alleging that he abused someone. Even after his neck was fatally injured, they didn't have the money to buy the belt which was suggested by the doctor and had to wait till evening. This is the situation of the people in Dalit colonies. The Dalit situation is aptly described by the fact that due to lack of money in the absence of expert treatment he surrendered to death. The only question in front of this mother, daughter and the 2 grandchildren is who will be there for them in their single room house.
The following is a rough transcription of what Vilasini spoke to Left Click News:-
"He was sitting here, they took him to the top. He went and returned back and then this incident occurred. After returning, he told he has to give Rs.30 and asked me if I have Rs.30. I told I don't have change and went inside to take change. He was already beaten before and while trying to enter the house, Mohanan obstructed him and asked to return his money and go. He told Mohanan that his money will be given, by the time I went to take money, arguments started between them.
Mohanan came here and took a stick and went to attack him (Thulasi), I tried to catch the stick and I got hit in my body. I scolded them and sent them away because this was just for money. After that I left and by the time I came back the incident (referring to Thulasi fallen into the pit) is over. Pattalam (Yatheendra Das) was over the bridge and Mohanan was here (pointing to the verandah of the house). I thought they went, but they went to the shop and said they had beaten and kicked Thulasi to the pit, when I heard beating I looked back and then they started the bike and left.
When I came home I realized it was true, my husband is in the pit. Next day morning (day before yesterday) only we took him to the hospital. Doctor didn't say anything about the injury, he just saw the X-Ray and told this is serious, it could not be treated here, if it gets cured here you are lucky. He told I will do the treatment anyways and you have to but the collar to be put in the neck. We didn't have the money to buy the belt and so got admitted to the ward and trip was given. Around 1.45 pm mother came with money, told my husband that she will return after going to the shop and he said okay. I turned back with the money and the prescription, my husband by then was dead.
Seeing the eyes, we went to call the doctor. Doctor came, checked and then walked away little ahead and called me and told not to be sad, he is dead. There is no point if he stays, brain is damaged. They told let us do treatment and if it is not getting better to take to Medical college. Now here only Me, my daughter, her 2 kids and my son are staying. My daughter doesn't have husband, he died 10 months before. She is mentally ill and sometimes creates lot of noise. Sometimes we have to tie her. She has 2 kids, now question is how to raise them. This situation which happened to me should not happen to anybody here. Many incidents have happened at many places, that should not repeat here. My loss is a loss."
Dhanya Madav is a Doctor in Ayurveda Medicine and a Social Worker in Kerala. She also writes on health in various magazines.
Image courtesy: Left Click News.