‘Dead’ man in India must prove he is alive (Gulf News)
“Singh’s problems started when he fell in love and married a Maharashtrian girl from a dalit (lower caste) family.
“‘My parents had passed away and my sisters were by then married. When I went back to my village, I had to face angry relatives, who threatened to teach me a lesson for marrying a dalit girl. They said I had brought shame upon the thakur (upper caste) family we belong to.
“‘The villagers declared me an outcast and my relatives reported me “missing”. Soon after, my cousins, who are politically well connected, prepared fake documents and declared me “dead”. They have since grabbed my land and property.’
“Singh’s battle in the court to get back his identity and land bore no result, as the date of hearing kept being postponed for many years. ‘I had no money left to pay the lawyer and he ditched me,’ he says dejectedly. [...]
“Remonstrating just a couple of kilometres away from where the high-and-mighty political leaders reside, he laments, ‘Except assurances, I have received nothing. Even the police sided with my cousins and beat me up mercilessly, due to which my left ear drum is permanently damaged.’”