By Adam Withnall, The Independent, September 2019
Two children have been beaten to death in India after they were seen defecating in the open near a village council building, police say.
The victims, a 12-year-old girl named Roshni and Avinash, a boy aged 10, were cousins from the Dalit (formerly Untouchable) community. Two men, brothers from the upper-caste Yadav community, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
The attack took place at around 6.30am on Wednesday in the village of Bhavkhedi, Madhya Pradesh state, at almost the precise moment when – 7,500 miles away in New York – India’s prime minister Narendra Modi was being honoured by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his work to eliminate open defecation.
The family of the victims in the Bhavkhedi attack told reporters they have no toilet in their home, and that despite being eligible have been unable to access funds to build one under Mr Modi’s flagship Swachh Bharat – or Clean India – programme.
They, like millions of others living across India, had no choice but to defecate in public, a practice which is known to put women and children at risk.
Read the full story via The Independent