Two brothers were arrested for allegedly beating two Dalit children to death for defecating on the street in front of a panchayat building in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district on Wednesday, PTI reported.

Hakim Yadav and his brother Rameshwar Yadav, were booked for murder and the investigation so far suggested that they were the only ones involved, Sirsod Police Station Inspector RS Dhakad said.

The father of one of the children said the family had been facing caste discrimination in Bhavkedhi village, where the incident took place. He claimed that the family was allowed to draw water from the hand-pump only after all other residents had done so.

Complaints filed by the children’s parents said the accused attacked them while they were defecating on a street in front of the panchayat building around 6.30 am on Wednesday. Roshani Balmiki, 12, and Avinash Balmiki, 10, suffered serious injuries and were rushed to the district hospital, where they were declared brought dead.

“I had a heated argument with the accused two years ago and they abused me over caste lines and threatened to kill me,” Manoj Balmiki, the father of one of the deceased, said. “They wanted me to work for them as a labourer for a meagre sum.”

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