An inter-caste couple in Karnataka was attacked nearly three decades after their marriage. Relatives of the husband who belonged to the upper caste community attacked the wife with axes. They also urinated in the house of the married couple in Asuti village in Ron Tehsil of Gadag district.
The women belonged to the Valmiki community, which is classified as a Scheduled Tribe. The police have filed a case under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act besides various sections of IPC including attempt to murder.
A police official told Hindustan Times, "The incident occurred on July 8 in Ron Taluk, roughly 385km from Bengaluru. The husband's relatives had gotten into a fight with the couple, and the wife was injured during the incident. On July 9, we booked a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act). Further, the investigation is on."
The children also complained of being harassed by their relatives. Reports have pointed out that the couple is also being coerced to give up ancestral land.
Rising Incidents of Caste-Based Crime
Karnataka has witnessed a sharp rise in crime against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the last year. Between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, atrocities against SC/ ST community have increased by 54 per cent.
the state government's data show that over 2,327 cases of murder, exploitation, and other crimes on members of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community have been registered in the same period.
According to National Crime Records Bureau, 1504 cases were registered during that period. These cases include murder, exploitation, burns, and other crimes.
Low Rate of Conviction
Activists in the state believe that the number of incidents of exploitation of the SC/ST community is considerably higher compared to what reported data suggests. Even if the incidents get reported, the conviction rate remains extremely low in such cases.
Hindustan Times reported that out of 2,775 arrested persons and 2,945 charge-sheeted from crimes and atrocities against SC/ST communities in 2019, only 50 were convicted for the crime.