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Thursday, May 23, 2024

India: Dalit family assaulted by upper-class men

Members of a Dalit family, also known as "untouchable" in India, were assaulted for objecting to waste being dumped in front of their home.

Members of a Dalit family, the lowest cast in India and characterized as “untouchable,” were assaulted by six men for objecting to waste being dumped in front of their home.

The alleged attack, which happened on June 12, took place when Narayan Singh Sendhav, Rajendra Singh, and Vijendra Singh came to the Dalit’s house and objected to the bricks kept in front of their house, where the upper-caste men usually dumped cow dung. 

Harinath Singh (the Dalit), when refusing to comply, was made the target of a casteist slur and, upon further aggravation, hit with rods along with his son Sobhalsingh Solanki and other family members.

Read More: Modi and his empty promises: Did Modi’s slogan sab ka vishwas ameliorate the Dalit in India?

Sobhandsingh Solanki, in his complaint to the police, said, “While leaving, they threatened to kill us if we failed to remove the bricks from the spot of the garbage dumping.” He added, “When we left for the hospital, they threw away our vessels and disconnected our power supply.”

The local town inspector said, “People would throw cow dung into it and that became a bone of contention between the two.” He also said, “There are complaints made by both sides, and the case is being investigated.”

Sobhandsingh Solanki also accused the police of not registering a fair FIR. He said that the police purposefully failed to mention in the FIR that the upper-cast men also set the house on fair and even assaulted female family members in the house.

Read More: Is there any glimmer of hope for the Dalit in India?

“When we went to register the FIR at the SC/ST police station after the incident, the town inspector abused and chased us away,” Solanki told the press. “Later we went to Jawar police station, which was the nearest one, and registered the FIR only after members of Dalit community pressured them.”

They also received help from Bhim Army, an Ambedkarite and Dalit rights organization in India. Sunil Asthe, a member of the Bhim Army, said, “To water down the case, the police has not mentioned that their house was burnt down,” he alleged. “Instead, attempt to murder has been invoked. The family was also given medical treatment after intervention by us.”