Lucknow (PTI) : Barely a few hours after they were honoured by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the two dalit brothers who cracked the IIT entrance examination this year were greeted with stones when they returned home in the state’s Pratapgarh district.
The incident only buttresses the tales of discrimination on the basis of the caste in the state. According to sources here, the house of the brothers at Rehualalganj village in the district was pelted with stones by unidentified miscreants on Sunday night.
“We were discussing about the felicitation when stones started hitting the house,” said Raju, one of the brothers. “As it was dark, we could not see the perpetrators.”
The terrified family members immediately informed the police, and a team of cops rushed to the village.
“We suspect that some locals, who were obviously unhappy with their success, must have done it,” said a local official. Two security personnel have been deployed at their house as a precautionary measure, said the official.
The duo had been presented cheques for Rs 1 lakh each and laptops by Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday. The state government has already declared that it will bear the brothers’ admission cost and other expenses incurred during studying.
Raju and Brijesh were among the top 500 students who cracked the IIT examination. While Raju secured the 167th rank, his elder brother Brijesh was ranked 410.
The stoning is said to reflects the upper caste members of the village not being able to handle the extremely poor dalit brothers’ success. The siblings have already had to face discrimination on the basis of caste at every step during their studies.
Their father Dharmraj Saroj, a daily-wage labourer at a factory in Surat, Gujarat, recalled how the upper-caste residents of the village often asked him to stop sending his sons to school and get them employed as labourers with him.
“Whenever I sought help from them, they would give me the same advice,” he said, adding that he never paid heed to them.