Beed: Two Dalit men have said they were beaten up allegedly by over 25 people in Maharashtra's Beed district because they overtook their motorcycles near a petrol pump.
- 6 Dalit men who were travelling on motorcycle stopped by 25
- 2 Dalit have complained they were beaten up brutally with belts
- Attackers beat them harder after spotting photo of BR Ambedkar, they said
The incident took place on Friday in Savargaon village in Beed district. About six young Dalit men who were travelling on three motorcycles overtook the accused, who then forced them to stop and allegedly beat them up.
The beating, the Dalit men claim, got worse after the accused saw pictures of Dalit rights icon Dr BR Ambedkar on their motorcycles.
"After spotting the photograph, they beat me with a belt. They started beating us and wanted to kill us. They took me on their bike and kept threatening us and abusing our caste," said 23-year-old Akash Waghmare, one of the victims who have filed a complaint.
Police, who are yet to arrest the accused in the case, have registered a complaint against over 25 unidentified persons.
"They had marks on their body that showed that they were beaten with belts. There were for four others with these two boys but since they haven't given us their statement, we don't know the full story yet. We have not caught the accused yet. A case filed under Prevention of Atrocity Act has been registered," said Assistant Superintendent of police in Majalgaon, Hari Balaji.
The incident comes amid nationwide outrage over the flogging and shaming of four Dalit men for skinning a dead cow in Gujarat on July 11.
In video footage that has provoked national outrage, the men, who are tannery workers, were stripped, tied to an SUV, flogged with iron rods and paraded by "Gau Rakshaks" or self-appointed cow protectors who then uploaded the video online as a "warning".
The government has also been targeted in parliament as the opposition said that cow vigilantes have been allowed to bully and torture Dalits, especially tannery workers, who are among the poorest.