“Lick the spit.. Lick it properly… I’ll skin you,” says one Balwant Singh, who was defeated in a recent village block election in Aurangabad, Bihar. He can be heard taunting as he makes a Dalit man lick spit as ‘punishment’. Singh has reportedly blamed the Dalit commuity for his loss, and abused the two men identified as Anil Kumar and Manjeet Kumar. He made them hold their ears and do sit-ups, made one of them lick spit, to humiliate them in public.
Singh reportedly claimed the Dalit men had not voted for him even after he “gave money” to the voters to cast their vote in his favour in the Panchayat election. As the money spent did not convert into votes, Singh decided to vent his anger and frustration. According to Jansatta, Balwant Singh also claimed that the Dalit men were drunk and creating a ruckus and that is why “he punished them.”
मुखिया चुनाव में हारे बलवंत सिंह ने दलित वोटरों से थूक चटवाया और कान पकड़ कर उठक-बैठक करवाई.
दावा है कि इन लोगों ने मुखिया चुनाव में बलवंत सिंह को वोट नहीं दिया था. ये वीडियो बिहार के औरंगाबाद जिले में कुटुम्बा प्रखंड के डुमरी पंचायत के सिंघना गांव का है. आरोपी बलवंत गिरफ्तार. pic.twitter.com/C5fUQWYPu6
— Utkarsh Singh (@UtkarshSingh_) December 12, 2021
This video is being told of Singhna village of Dumri Panchayat of Kutumba block, Aurangabad, Bihar. Where a head candidate from upper caste, blaming his defeat in the election, got the people of the Dalit community to get up first by holding their ears and then spit. Chatted. pic.twitter.com/woWW48PHJB
— KISMAT,ALI,???? (@kismatali78692) December 13, 2021
However, the incident further exposes the caste divide in Bihar and how the so called ‘upper castes’ treat Dalit citizens. Balwant Singh was a candidate standing for Panchayat elections in the Kharanti Tole Bhuyan Bigha of Singhna village Panchayat of Kutumba block. Stunned by defeat, Singh took his anger out on Dalit voters to also show caste and money power. Interestingly, this panchayat falls in an area under an Assembly seat reserved for scheduled castes (SC), according to the Election Commission.
A ‘power drunk’ Singh assaulted the men. While the clips have not been verified independently, this disgusting act went viral on social media. The case reached DM Saurabh Jorwal, and Superintendent of Police Kantesh Kumar Mishra reportedly ordered the police station to register an FIR and arrest the accused Balwant Singh.
SP Kantesh Mishra, told the media, “The accused has been arrested based on a complaint by the two youths. The accused chief was a candidate for the village head elections. A charge sheet against him will be filed soon.”
According to news reports nearly 1,39,045 cases of crime against Dalits have been registered in different states between 2018 and 2020. Around 50,291 such crimes were reported last year.
The Home Ministry had recently informed Parliament that Uttar Pradesh registered a maximum of 36,467 cases of crime against scheduled castes (SC) in the three years, followed by Bihar (20,973), Rajasthan (18,418) and Madhya Pradesh (16,952). The ministry reportedly added that “53,886 cases were registered under the Prevention of Atrocities Against SC/STs (PoA) Act in 2020, up from 49,608 in the previous year.”