Dalit brothers who cracked IIT attacked, provided police protection
Allahabad, Jun 23: The family of Brijesh Saroj and Raju Saroj, two Dalit brothers from Rehua Lalganj village of Pratapgarh district who made it to the coveted IITs despite their poverty, has been provided police protection after unknown persons attacked the family with stones on Sunday night.
Apprehending further trouble, district magistrate Amit Tripathi rushed SDM Lalgunj YP Singh and half a dozen policemen on Sunday night to guard the tormented family after he was informed of the attack.
The Saroj family was attacked soon after the brothers returned to Rehua Lalganj from Lucknow, where they were honored by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for their feat. “We were sitting outside our hut when some unknown people started pelting stones on us. Ramesh Soni, my brother Brijesh and some women of the family were hit,” Rajesh Saroj, elder brother of the duo, told media.
“Things could have taken an ugly turn, but for the police protection,” a worried Rajesh added.
The father, Dharamraj, could not believe that his family had to seek police protection just because his sons made it to the IIT. “For years, my father, my sons and I have tolerated discriminatory acts of some villagers as we wanted the children to focus only on studies and not get distracted. This shows some people are envious of my boys,” he said.
“Now here we are, feeling unsafe in our own village despite the whole village applauding us. It is so uneasy to see police deployed in front of your house surrounded by people with whom my sons grew,” Dharamraj added with a heavy heart.
Raju, Dharamraj’s younger son who scored AIR-167 in JEE Mains, is confused. “We only raised the issue of village welfare with the chief minister. Why would someone throw stones on us… and we are being forced to take police refuge and our fault perhaps: clearing IIT?” Raju said.
“In fact, when we spoke to the CM about problems in our village, he announced that it would be developed as an Adarsh Lohia Gram,” said Raju. “We were pelted with stones just because we have achieved what we wanted for every bright child of the village,” Raju lamented.
Cops protected the Saroj family through the night on Sunday and on Monday. “It is shocking. Although a handful of people could be involved in the incident, which we are probing, it puts us all in bad light,” said Tripathi.