Delhi University Student Hospitalised After Being Assaulted By Seniors Allegedly Over Caste
February 14th, 2018
An 18-year-old student from Dyal Singh College was brutally beaten up allegedly by his seniors in the college premises. He alleged that he was assaulted because he belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC).
Ashish Beniwal, the victim, and his two other friends are still undergoing treatment as four to five seniors allegedly assaulted them during a college festival that was held on February 7.
Ashish is a first-year student of BA (Programme) and a resident of Mayur Vihar’s Balmiki Colony. The incident occurred when he was eating lunch with his two friends Aman Bhiduri and Ankit Sharma. The accused have been identified as Ankit Dahiya, Sunny Gujjar and Sunil Sheoran.
They allegedly attacked the victim using an ice pick and glass bottles. After the registration of a complaint, the Delhi Police arrested the trio on the same day, however, later released them on bail, confirmed Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Vijayanta Arya.
While explaining the atrocities and torture meted out to him, Ashish who got 14 stitches on the face told The Hindu “I belong to the Scheduled Caste. Some of those who attacked us are Jats. They have been harassing me for the past three-four months saying tu ‘bhangi’ hai…tu hamare sath padhenga? [you belong to the Scheduled Caste…you want to study with us?].”
The victim also alleged that it was around 3 pm when Ankit Dhaiya began a fight saying Ashish was bad-mouthing him. As per the victim’s statements, he was just chit-chatting with his friends like normal days, and they did not provoke any of their seniors.
“Ankit Dahiya came over and claimed I was bad-mouthing him. I denied the allegation, but he did not listen and started beating me. He had an ice pick in his pocket and stabbed me with it. Then, he broke a glass bottle lying nearby and threw it in my face, luckily the bottle missed my eye,” alleged Ashish, as reported by The Hindu. His friends, Aman and Ankit Sharma, were attacked when they tried to intervene, the victim added.
Victim’s Revelations Of The Past Tortures And Police Ignorance
According to Ashish, this was not for the first time that he had to go through such grudges. He alleged that the accused targeted him and his friends often because “they held a grudge arising out of caste”. Also, Aman was beaten before as he won the college elections last December against a candidate supported by the accused.
“My friend had approached the police then and also registered a First Information Report (FIR). However, the accused remained out of jail, though they did not come to college very often,” Ashish told The Hindu.
After the attack, the victims went to the Lodhi Colony police station and told the officers about the incident. However, Ashish claimed, the officers allegedly prevented them from mentioning about the caste angle in their FIR. “We told them that I was attacked because of my caste, but they did not write that. They said my statement would be taken later,” added Ashish.
After this recent attack, the victims reported to the Lodhi Colony Police Station and narrated the whole incident to the officers. In contrast to the victims’ statement, a senior police officer said that the victims had approached the police but did not allege any caste-based attack. “If such a complaint is received, action will be taken on merit,” the officer said to The Hindu.
Moreover, Ashish alleged that the police did not take any strict actions and they have been ignorant in their case knowing the accused were drunk at the time of the accident and they intended to kill him as they were carrying weapons.
“An FIR has been registered under Sections 341 [wrongful restraint], 323 [voluntarily causing hurt], 506 [criminal intimidation] and 34 [common intention]. Forget attempt to murder, they have not charged the accused under the Scheduled Caste Act,” he told The Hindu.
Action Taken By Ashish’s Father
To file a petition, Ashish’s father Harish Beniwal, a sanitation worker with the Municipal Department approached a Delhi court on Monday to meet his advocate.
“We have drafted a letter to submit to the court stating that the police did not slap the relevant sections. The written draft will also be given to senior officers of the district,” he told The Hindu. He further said that it is shameful that something like this is happening in the Capital. I have submitted a letter to the college Principal on February 8, who has assured strict action in the case.
Asking about the actions taken by the college authorities, college Principal P.K. Sharma confirmed that he met Ashish’s parents. “I have met them. They have demanded that the police charge the accused party with stricter sections. I told them I would write to the police myself and take relevant action on the part of the college administration,” he reported to The Hindu. College chairman Amitabh Sinha said, “The incident is unfortunate, and I condemn it. I will look into the matter.”
The Logical Indian condemns such actions and appeals to the college authorities and police officers to take stringent measures to provide justice to the victim. Also, we believe that such incidents are leaving “black spots” not only on the progressive Indian society but also on the safety and security provisions ensured by the prestigious institutions such as the Delhi University and laws made against Caste discrimination.