NEW DELHI – In yet another shocking case of caste violence, three Dalit men were subjected to mob attack. A video clip showing the ordeal of the trio being tied up, beaten and paraded around with shoes hanging from their necks surfaced on the social media.
The incident, according to reports, took place in Barauli Khalilabad village near Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, a week ago.
The victims come from marginalised and oppressed sections of the socio-religious hierarchy. They were subjected to such grotesque humiliation on an unsubstantiated charge that they all were involved in steeling a fan from an upper caste household.
लखनऊ में ब्राह्मणवादियों द्वारा तीन दलितों के साथ बर्बरता पूर्ण कृत्य पर अभी तक अपराधियों की गिरफ्तार नहीं हुई।
— Chandra Shekhar Aazad (@BhimArmyChief) June 10, 2020
Chandra Shekhar Aazad, who recently emerged as a prominent Dalit leader, posted the video on his Twitter account with a caption reading “It is a repetition of the Una incident”. He said the state under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has become a “burial ground for Dalits”.
In the 2016 incident of Una, Gujarat, a Dalit family was publicly beaten up by a gang of cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow slaughter. The incident had evoked an unprecedented nationwide outrage.
It’s a matter of shame that in the 21st century, India is still grappling with the hate crimes that are deeply entrenched in the age-old caste-based discrimination. Every now and then, we come across crimes against Dalits ranging from verbal abuse to physical assault, rape to murder over trivial issues like drinking water from a well or pound used by members of the upper castes. This is the second reported incident of violence against Dalits in Uttar Pradesh in the last few days. On 6 June, a Dalit boy was shot dead in Amroha district for seeking to enter a temple in his village.
The police in Lucknow though has registered a case in the incident, it’s against both parties. Two people from the lynch mob have been arrested while the hunt is on for others. The police are trying to identify the accused from the viral video. What’s intriguing about their action is that they have also arrested the three victims on the charge of theft which has not been proved.