03 Dec '11, 11am
LUCKNOW (AFP) - A 14-year-old low-caste 'untouchable' was strangled in northern India because he shared his first name with a higher-caste youth, police said on Saturday. Neeraj Kumar, was allegedly kidnapped and strangled by a group of boys led by 23-year-old Neeraj Chaudhary, whose family resented the idea of the low-caste boy having the same first name, police said. The victim's family are Dalits - or 'untouchables' as they used to be known - who occupy the lowest rung in India's rigid caste hierarchy. Most live in poverty and do menial, supposedly 'unclean' jobs like collecting garbage. The victim's father, Ram Sumer, a vegetable seller, said when his son was admitted to primary school, the alleged killer's father 'called me to advise me to change my son's name because it was the same as his son's'.