A case has been registered against two people in connection with the brutal thrashing of a Dalit at Bajana Kalan village in Haryana's Sonipat a month ago. The police took this step after a clip of the incident, which has been in circulation on social media for over 14 days, finally came to their notice.
Although initial reports suggested that the thrashing received by the Dalit was part of his "punishment" for washing his cattle in a water body frequented by those from the so-called upper caste community, police disputed the claim. They also explained away the delay in taking action, saying that nobody had lodged a complaint or forwarded the video to them until then.
"But the father of the victim came to us today and registered a complaint. He did not give reasons for the delay in informing us. Apparently, the victim got into a dispute with the two accused after they tried to force him into working on their farm. The victim is currently in Delhi and we are waiting for him to return," said Sonepat Superintendent of Police Arpit Jain.
The accused were identified as Mohit and Jitendra, both residents of the same village.
According to the complaint registered at the Gannaur police station, the two accused had ordered the victim to work in their fields. "When my son refused, they held him captive for around four hours in a room near their property. Mohit and Jitendra told him to remove his clothes, following which they assaulted him while recording the incident on their mobile phone. He was warned of dire consequences if he shared his ordeal with others. Fearing further attacks from the two, my son has been staying in Delhi for the last 20 days," it read.
The family has sought police protection, fearing further attacks from the accused.
According to social activists, there has been a sharp surge in atrocities against Dalits across the country in recent years. In July 2016, seven members of a Dalit family were beaten mercilessly by upper-caste cow vigilantes for allegedly skinning the carcasses of dead cattle in Gujarat's Una district. Following a nationwide outrage, 43 people -- including four police officers -- were placed under arrest.
However, assaults on Dalits continue. Late last month, a 14-year-old girl from the community was allegedly raped and set afire by seven people on the premises of a brick kiln in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar. The owner of the factory was among those charged with the crime.
A few days later, four people were arrested for beating up a Dalit teenager on the suspicion that he had raped a woman in Rajasthan's Pali district. A video of the incident was also shared on social media.
A week ago, two men from Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur were arrested for allegedly killing a Dalit for the "offence" of marrying a woman from the upper caste community. The arrests were made by Punjab police in collaboration with their counterparts in Madhya Pradesh because the case of "dishonour killing" had occurred in Ludhiana.