A 43-year-old man from Abhangapatnam village in Navipet Mandal, Nizamabad district of Telangana allegedly threatened two men and forced them to take a dip into a dirty pond, reports The Indian Express.
This was meted out as a punishment to those two men who had trespassed the sand quarry of the businessman. The incident took place on 16 September, but on 12 November, a video went viral on social media, and it was even telecasted on local TV channels.
Dalit organisations protested against the incident and demanded Reddy’s arrest.
Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) approached the police and lodged a complaint on 12 November, Navipet Police Station Sub-Inspector J Naresh said. The victims have not filed any complaint, and the police are yet to question Reddy on this.
The Logical Indian contacted Navipet police station to talk to Sub-Inspector J Naresh. He said, “Based on the complaint, a case under IPC section 506 (criminal intimidation) and relevant sections of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was registered against Reddy, a local businessman who allegedly threatened and abused the two agricultural labourers in filthy language.”
Naresh was, however, not willing to portray this as a crime against Dalits and said that any conformity about the incident could be given only after proper investigation. He also dismissed the fact that Reddy had any association with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The two men have been identified as K Lakshman and Rajesh. They had allegedly gone to the quarry, to seek permission to mine sand. However, the workers at the quarry suspecting them to be thieves caught hold of them. The matter was reported to Reddy, who came and started caning them with a stick.
While in other reports, it was claimed that the two men had stopped the tractor in which Reddy was travelling, intending to inquire about alleged illegal sand mining. Reddy got annoyed and then came out to thrash these men.
After that, Reddy took Rajeshwar and Lakshman to a dirty pond, which was reportedly used for defecation, and forced them to take a dip in it.
The video shows the youths begging his pardon but in vain. Reddy is heard hurling abuses and also asking them to apologise by rubbing their nose on the ground.
Condemning the ‘misrepresentation’ of the incident on television, the BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said in a statement, “The individual exhibiting barbaric and unacceptable behaviour in Nizamabad on Dalits is not a BJP leader, nor does he hold any position in the party at any level. BJP Telangana will consider legal options on those who are indulging in blatant misrepresentation.”
“We condemn this attack and insult on the two men and demand that a case under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is registered against Bharat Reddy. We are also asking that Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy should also take note of this incident,” John Wesley from the Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) said, speaking to a local media channel.
The Logical Indian Take
Dalits face rampant discrimination at different levels in the country. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports a 44% increase in violence against Dalits, up from 32,712 in 2010 to 47,064 crimes in 2014.
Where on the one hand we want to prove to ourselves and the world that we live in is progressive in thought, these incidents betray this notion.
The Logical Indian severely condemns the incident and urges the authorities to ensure proper investigation in this case so that justice is meted out.