A Dalit man from Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun was allegedly beaten up and forced to drink urine as he refused some “upper caste” farmers to harvest their crops. As The Indian Express reports, the incident took place on April 23 and Sitaram, the victim is missing now.
Sitaram Valmiki (43) was allegedly assaulted on April 23 by four upper caste Thakurs of Badaun’s Azampur Bisauriya. It has been a week since the incident and Sitaram is still missing.
On the fateful day, Sitaram went to his family’s 10-bigha land to harvest crops. At around 5 pm, Vijay Singh, Pinku Singh, Shailendra Singh and Vikram Singh — Thakurs from the village, asked Sitaram to first harvest the crop in their 20-bigha land. Sitaram refused, saying he was unwell.
“Enraged by his refusal, the Thakurs started beating Sitaram while hurling casteist slurs. They dragged him to the chaupal of the village, tied him to a neem tree, ripped his moustache and also forced him to drink urine,” Jaimala (Sitaram’s wife) told The Indian Express.
She also claimed that the four people kept on saying “…inka hai kaun, sarkar humari hai (whose backing do they have, the government is ours).”
On alerting the police, they came and dispersed the four Thakurs. Sitaram’s family was assaulted again during the night and the police were again called. This time they booked both Sitaram and Vijay Singh under Section 151 CrPC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences). Sitaram was released the next day.
Police personnel have been deployed outside Sitaram’s house. SSP Badaun Ashok Kumar Sharma said that the four accused have been arrested and were sent to a 14-day judicial custody.
On April 29, a Dalit groom from Rajasthan was beaten up for riding a horse to celebrate his own wedding. He was forced off the horse as he violated a privilege of the “upper caste”. He was beaten up even after police arrived as the police were outnumbered by the mob. Recently, 450 Dalits from Gujarat converted to Buddhism because of continued oppression.
These instances show that atrocities against Dalits cease to exist. They are still the victims of a ridiculous caste structure which has no significance in a progressive society.