File photo of a protest against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Representative image
In a shocking incident four upper caste youth beat up a Dalit farmer and then forced him to drink urine because he refused to harvest their crop, in a village in Badaun in central Uttar Pradesh
In a shocking incident, four upper caste youth beat up a Dalit farmer and then forced him to drink urine because he had refused to harvest their crop, in a village in Badaun in central Uttar Pradesh.
Though the incident took place in Azadpur village in Badaun on April 23, the FIR was lodged a week later on April 30 at Hajratpur police station.
Sitaram Valmiki, 43, said in his complaint that four villagers who belonged to upper caste (Thakur) asked him to harvest their wheat crop. “As I was working in my field I refused but said that I will do it later. They did not like my answer. They tied me up with a tree and then beat me with chappals,” he told a local news agency.
“They even forced me to drink urine and pulled my moustache,” he said.
The four accused have been identified as Vijay Singh, Vikram Singh (both brothers) , Sompal Singh (cousin) and Pinku Singh—all Thakurs.
The trauma in which Sitaram’s family went through can be gauged from the fact that after police was informed, Vijay Singh and Vikram Singh met the Dalit family asking them not to go ahead with the complaint. As the intimidation continued, Sitaram along with his family went to his relative’s house in Bareilly, 40 km from Badaun
Sitaram’s wife was first to lodge a complaint with the police when she came to know about the incident. But why it took almost a week’s time for the police to book the culprit is very confusing. Superintendent of police Ashok Kumar said that police in-charge of Hajratpur police station has been suspended and an enquiry has been ordered against him.
“The report of assault has been found to be true. Verification of other charges are on,” he said.
The trauma that Sitaram’s family went through can be gauged from the fact that after police was informed Vijay Singh and Vikram Singh met the Dalit family asking them not to go ahead with the complaint. As the intimidation continued Sitaram along with his family went to his relative’s house in Bareilly, 40 km from Badaun.
Sitaram says that these two Singh brothers even followed them to Barellly and threatened them.
Newly appointed Chairman of the State SC/ST Commission Brij Lal said that it was a serious offence. “Dalits needs protection. If upper caste behaves like this it is a bad omen for the society,” said Lal, former DGP of the state, who controversially bestowed the Ambedkar Mahasabha’s first ‘Dalit Mitra’ award to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In villages, Dalits form the bulwark of the labour force. They work as labourers in the fields of upper caste and do all the menial jobs for them. During harvest season these labourers are much in demand and if they refuse to work, they are often beaten up.