A Dalit man attacked by six persons in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar, has told reporters that he and three others were urinated on and told to lick shoes on which their assailants had spat. The man, alongwith the others — accused of stealing some goats and pigeons — were also allegedly beaten up and hung upside down from a tree. A video of the ordeal shot and circulated by one of the attackers has sparked outrage and a political row. A shutdown was observed today in Haregaon village as part of a protest.
“I was hung upside down by a rope around my legs. I had three small children with me, they were also beaten up. We are their neighbors. We are from a lower caste (Mahar). They were angry… They peed on us. We were asked to lick shoes on which they had spat,” said Shubham Maghade, who later filed a complaint with the police.
The 20-year-old has also named his attackers — Pappu Parkhe, Raju Borge, Yuvraj Galande and Nana Patil. He said the men came and took him to the house of Yuvraj Galande, where they were stripped and beaten up.
The police, who took action after the video of the attack was widely circulated, has detained one of the men accused. The rest are on the run.
“A case has been registered under Section 307, atrocity. Six men have been accused. One accused has been detained and search is on for the remaining accused. The victim was suspected of stealing pigeons and goats. It is claimed that he is from Mahar (caste),” said Swati Bhor, a senior police officer.
Quoting an un-named police officer, news agency Press Trust of India reported that a case under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 364 (kidnapping) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act has been registered.
The Opposition Congress has termed the incident a “blot” on humanity.
“Such incidents are a result of hate being spread by BJP for its political gain,” Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole was quoted as saying by PTI.
Nationalist Congress Party’s chief spokesman Mahesh Tapase accused the government of failing to protect the self-respect of Dalits, PTI reported.
(With PTI inputs)