In a shocking incident from Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh, a 56-year-old Dalit farmer was thrashed and beheaded to death.
The deceased, Natthu Lal Jatav, was attacked by another farmer who resides in the same area because he refused to share the water pipe with him for irrigation purpose. Even after the locals tried to control the incident, the accused did not stop.
The victim used to work as a marginal farmer in Din Nagar Sheikhpur village in Budaun. A single water pipe used to run across the length of Jatav's paddy farm. On Monday, when Jatav was watering his field, another farmer named Roop Kishore arrived and asked Jatav to share the water from one of the pipes and divert water to his field for irrigation to which Jatav refused since his field required more watering.
Following this, Kishore entered into an argument with Jatav and verbally abused him. Then he allegedly started beating up Jatav with a stick which led some locals to come rushing to the spot and stop the scuffle. But before they could do anything, the angry farmer spotted a spade and beheaded Jatav in one blow.
Soon after the incident, the witnesses fled away from the spot out of fear. "I had been working with my father in the evening. But he told me to go home for dinner and that he would water the crops. But he had not made it back home until very late," Jatav's son, Ompal told TOI.
"Around midnight, Mahinder (a local) came to our house and told me Roop Kishore had killed my father. I rushed there, hoping he was wrong. I saw my father's beheaded body lying in the fields," he added. Ompal also claimed that more people were involved behind his father's murder.
He also said that the accused person also ran away from the spot after committing the crime.
"After looking for him all over, we found him hiding in the forests nearby. A circle officer will investigate if anyone else was involved in the murder. Jatav's body was handed over to the family after autopsy," Siddharth Verma, Additional SP (rural) said.
"An FIR has been lodged and Roop Kishore has been booked for murder and under sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the Bilsi police station," Verma added.
The village where the incident took place is a Dalit village with around 70% SC population.