In an incident which once again brings to fore the discrimination that exists in our society against the so called lower castes, a 45-year-old Dalit man was allegedly assaulted and his moustache shaved off for refusing to harvest crops in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun. According to news agency ANI, the victim was not only humiliated, but also forced to 'drink urine' by a group of men, said to be belonging to upper caste.
In his complaint to police, Sitaram Valmiki of Azampur Bisauriya village under Hazratpur police station in Badaun district alleged that four men - Vijay Singh, Pinku Singh, Vikram Singh and Shailendra Singh - had attacked him, reported TOI.
The incident is said to have taken place on April 23. Valmiki said that the accused men asked as to why he had not harvested their field, to which he said that he would do so once the work on his field is over.
"They abused me and kicked me, dragged me to the village, tied me to a tree, shaved my moustache and humiliated me," a TOI report quoted Valmiki as saying.
Badaun's senior superintendent of police, Ashok Kumar, said that they got a call from Valmiki's wife at around 6 pm on April 23, after which they rushed to his place. He said that by the time police reached there, the accused had fled.
"A case has been registered and probe is underway," ANI quoted Ashok Kumar as saying.
Dalit man from #Badaun alleges he was assaulted & forced to drink urine by a group of men after he denied to harvest their crops, says, 'They also tied me to a tree and pulled my moustache.' SSP Ashok Kumar says, 'case has been registered & probe is underway.' pic.twitter.com/7vTgYQ7vhc— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 30, 2018
In February, a gang beat an eight-year-old boy from the dalit community to death and sexually assaulted his mother and sister near Arakandanallur in Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which gathers data about different crimes in the country, shows that the rate of crimes against Dalits has risen in the last few years. The conviction rate for such crimes has also declined substantially.
In 2016, an estimated 214 incidents of crimes against scheduled castes (SCs) were reported per million SC population, up from 207 the previous year, according to the NCRB data. In all of India, 40,801 atrocities against Dalits were reported in 2016, up from 38,670 in 2015.
Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of atrocities against Dalits, the NCRB data shows, at 25.6% of all cases reported. This is followed by Bihar (14%) and Rajasthan (12.6%).