No country for Dalits: brutal incidents of violence against Dalits in the last week of August

Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra see four Dalits assaulted, 2 murdered in the last week itself.

Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Four Dalit boys were subjected to a horrifying assault as they were hung upside down from a tree and brutally thrashed on allegations of stealing goats and pigeons recently in Maharashtra. The incident took place in Haregaon, Srirampur tehsil of Ahmednagar district. The distressing videos of the incident have rapidly spread on various social media platforms. The video surfaced on Twitter on August 27, 2023. It has been reported that two of the four victims were minors.

Prominent political figures and activists have expressed their outrage and solidarity with the victims. Prakash Ambedkar, president of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, spoke to one of the victims and their grandmother, offered support and promised to ensure justice for the victims. Ambedkar condemned the incident as a manifestation of the troubling psyche that is behind caste discrimination and called for an increase in conviction in cases of such kind. He also called upon the CM of Maharashtra to take strict action, promising VBA rallying to the streets if they didn’t.

NCP Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule and Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole also denounced the incident, highlighting the inhumane nature of the attack. Sule criticised the lack of fear of the law among criminals, and wrote about the need the need for severe punishment for the perpetrators. Patole also stated that certain political ideologies for fostering hatred and division in society, which l lead to incidents of this nature.

According to the New Indian Express, Maharashtra revenue minister and BJP MLA Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has also visited the victims in the hospital, reassuring the public that a thorough investigation into the incident is underway. The incident has ignited calls for justice and drawn attention to the urgent need for addressing caste-based discrimination and violence in society.

According to ANI, the police have registered case against assaulters after a bandh was issued in protest. Ahmednagar ASP Swati Bhor says, “The incident occurred on 25 August. An FIR has been registered in this case on the complaint of one of the victims, Shubham Magde. The victims have alleged that they were thrashed badly. 6 people namely Yuvraj Galande, Manoj Bodke, Pappu Parakhe, Deepak Gaikwad, Durgesh Vaidya and Raju Borag, have been booked under Sections 307, 364 of IPC and Atrocity Act. One accused has been arrested and the police are on the lookout for the remaining five accused. Further investigation underway,” ANI reported earlier today.

Jalna, Maharashtra

Last weekend, on the night of August 26th in Jawaskheda village, in Badnapur tehsil of Maharashtra’s Jalna district, a 25-year-old Dalit man named Siddharth Mandale was murdered. Allegedly suspected of stealing a two-wheeler, Siddharth Mandale was subjected to a fatal assault, resulting in his immediate death. The heart-wrenching incident has led to the subsequent arrest of four individuals on Sunday. These suspects have been identified as Akash Jadhav, Kailash Jadhav, Kundlik Tirkhe, and Tulsiram Gaikwad, all of whom are residents of Daregaon in Jalna tehsil.

The sequence of events unfolded with the accused capturing Siddharth Mandale after accusing him of stealing a two-wheeler. The situation took a horrifying turn as he was brutally beaten by the group and then callously thrown into a quarry, leading to his tragic demise. In response to this horrifying incident, authorities have taken action by registering a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Section 302 (Punishment for murder), and invoking the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Sagar, Madhya Pradesh

Another disturbing incident that occurred on 24th August in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district, a young Dalit man was mercilessly beaten to death by a group of assailants wielding sticks and batons. The family revealed that the assailants had been pressuring them relentlessly, and had even threatened murder, to withdraw a four-year-old police case involving sexual harassment, which had been filed by the murdered youth’s sister. The victim allegedly refused to withdraw the case following which the goons came to his home, vandalised his house and beat him. The family of the victim have stated that the accused would engage in harassing the victim’s sister while she would walk to her school. The mother has alleged that her son was beaten in front of her own eyes and when she tried to defend him from the assailants, she was also attacked and the men attempted to disrobe her, said the Khurai police-station in charge to Hindustan Times. The family has also alleged that since the ‘Thakur family’ has members who are Sarpanch, and Parshad, and are well off too – the police did not listen to the victim’s family.

Images circulating on social media purportedly showed the accused individuals posing alongside a senior Minister of the BJP government in the State. According to the Additional SP Sanjeev Uike, reports the Times of India, “A case has been filed against nine individuals, including the main accused under Section 307. After the death of the victim at the hospital, Section 302 and the SC/ST Act were also applied.”

The Congress party accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of transforming Madhya Pradesh into a harrowing “laboratory of atrocities” against Dalits.

BSP Supremo Mayawati has also taken to her X account, formerly Twitter, to comment on atrocities, calling BJP two-faced.


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