Medieval mindset continues to prevail despite the fact that 67 springs have passed since India attained Independence. In the latest reign of terror, 15 Other Backward Castes (OBC) villagers of Shahjahanpur‘s Hareva in Uttar Pradesh stripped five women of the Dalit community, paraded them naked, caned them and then put them on exhibition on the highway because their daughter had allegedly eloped with a Dalit’s son.
“They dragged us out of our houses on Saturday, stripped us in the middle of the village, beat us with batons and took us to a tea stall on the Saraya-Budhwana Road where passersby stopped to leer at us. This continued for about four hours before some other villagers intervened,” one of the victims, whose son has allegedly run away with the OBC girl, told the police.
Following the incident, Jalalabad police of the district have arrested four persons, including Sarvesh Kumar Kashyap, father of the girl.
However, Sarvesh said that his daughter was going towards the agricultural field along with her mother on Wednesday evening when the boy Santosh Kumar reached there on motorcycles along with his friends and kidnapped her.
He said: “We had gone to the boy’s house and tried to convince them that they should return my daughter. But, our efforts went in vain. Later, though our tenor was of anger when we had confronted them, it is wrong to accuse us that we had paraded them naked.”
Santosh belongs to the Dhanuk caste that falls under the Dalit community. The girl is from the Kashyap caste, a powerful and affluent OBC community in the state.
State Director General of Police Arvind Kumar Jain ordered an inquiry into the incident and said that the culprits would not be spared. He said: “The police officers of Shahjahanpur have been asked to probe the case and take action against whosoever is guilty. I have also asked them to recover the girl who is a minor.” Jain claimed that the women were not paraded naked and their clothes were torn after they were beaten up.
Additional Superintendent of Police Asharam Yadav said: “Cases have been registered against 15 people, including women of their family for allegedly helping the men in attacking the Dalits.