A 30-year-old Dalit youth had to pay for the “crime” of breaking bread with his feudal masters in a Uttar Pradesh village.
Members belonging to an upper caste took strong exception to his sharing meal at a wedding feast with them at a village in Unnao district, 60 KM from state capital Lucknow.
Giving details of the incident that occurred on February 9, BSP coordinator for Bundelkhand and MLC Tilak Chand Ahirwar said an attempt was made to chop off his nose.
“Amar Singh Dohre was beaten up when he was found sharing wedding meal with Thakurs (upper caste) in Unnao district. When he returned to his native Shurpatipura village, they put knife on the youth’s nose and left it bleeding,” Ahirwar, a member of the state Legislative Council claimed today.
Though the local police lodged an FIR against four culprits, the charge against them was only beating, whereas the case should have been filed under the stringent SC/ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act, he rued.
When contacted, Superintendent of Police, Jalaun, Sunil Saxena said an FIR under various sections of the IPC and certain sections of the SC/ST Act has been lodged with the Madhogarh police.
“Neither the victim has given any complaint about attempt to cut his nose nor the medical examination proves anything in this regard,” the SP said.
He, however, pointed out that DIG A M Sharma has issued instructions that the complaint be investigated afresh and if there was any truth in the charges, relevant sections could be included in the FIR.
Meanwhile, the BSP legislator demanded inclusion of these sections in the FIR for attempt to chop off the nose and also questioned the delay in arresting the culprits.
“We will raise the issue in the Vidhan Parishad in a day or two and if our demands are not met even after that, the party will stage protest,” he warned.
“The police is acting under pressure as the culprits enjoy political patronage…There is no other justification for the police not registering the FIR under relevant sections and giving leeway to the culprits,” he added.
Dalits are at the bottom of the Hindu caste system and despite laws to protect them, they still face widespread discrimination in the country though the Constitution bans the practice of untouchability.