A 14-year-old Dalit boy was tied to an electricity pole in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur and beaten brutally when people suspected him of stealing an earring. When his mother tried to save the boy, she was also beaten up.
The incident took place at about 9:30 P.M on September 29, when a group of “upper caste” people assaulted the boy. The boy’s mother told NDTV, “Those who beat up my son alleged that he had stolen an earring while playing with other boys and girls. They even said that our caste should be wiped out.” She was also beaten up when she rushed to save her son. Both, mother and son, are now being treated for their injuries at a hospital in Chikkaballapur.
A police official told the publication, “Local residents alleged that the boy had stolen the earring of a four-year-old girl. Investigation is under way.”
The police have now booked 10 people, and a case has been registered under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault to woman with intent to outrage modesty), 355 (assault to dishonour person), 341 (wrongful restraint), 448 (punishment for false mark), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 149 (prosecution of common object) and under sections 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s) and 3(1)(z) of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2015.
While 10 people have been named in the First Information Report (FIR), three have been nabbed so far and remanded to judicial custody.
This is however not the first such incident. In August, another Dalit boy, also 14-years-old, was similarly tied to an electricity pole and beaten up in Uttar Pradesh on suspicion of theft. According to Times of India, the boy was accused of stealing Rs 600 from a grocery store in Kalaan in Shahjahanpur district.
Targeted Attacks on Dalit students on the increase
The past months have seen a spate of attacks on young Dalit persons, including students, across states, be it Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh. The most recent was the thrashing, by his teacher of 15-year old Nikhit Dohre in Auraiya, Uttar Pradesh that reportedly led to his death ten days later. Before this, in Rajasthan, 9 year old Inderjit Meghwal was also allegedly brutally beaten by his teacher, who has since been arrested. In both these cases, Citizens for Justice and Peace, has filed complaints with the National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (NCSCST) urging protection for the family and also monitoring of the Commission, of both the investigations an prosecutions.