Thursday, May 3, 2018

Urine torment on Dalit

Piyush Srivastava May 02, 2018 00:00 IST

Lucknow: A Dalit labourer was allegedly forced to drink urine from a shoe, tied to a tree and beaten with sticks and belts and had his moustache pulled till he bled, all because he had refused to work for free in a farm owned by an upper caste family in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun district.

The day after the alleged assault on April 23, Sita Ram and the four landlords who tormented him in Azampur-Bisaulia village, 330km west of Lucknow, were booked by police for breach of peace.

Sita Ram wrote to the additional director-general of police, Bareilly zone, Prem Prakash.

The officer forwarded the complaint to Badaun city superintendent of police Jitendra Srivastava, who found the four Rajputs guilty of torturing the Dalit labourer and ordered their arrests.

Vijay Singh, Shailendra Singh, Vikram Singh and Pinku Singh were arrested on Tuesday.

Senior superintendent of police Ashok Kumar said: "We are still in the process of probing the case.

"But we have suspended Rajesh Kashyap, the inspector of Hazratpur, for dereliction of duty."

D.K. Thakur, the inspector-general of police of Bareilly zone who visited Azampur-Bisaulia on Monday and met Sita Ram and his family, has deployed personnel at the village to prevent a caste conflict.

Sita Ram told reporters that all four accused belonged to the same family and were in the habit of forcing poor people to work in their fields without paying any wage.

"This has been going on for the past decade. Nobody dares to oppose them as they carry illegal weapons and often fire to terrorise us. But I decided not to accept their command and faced the consequence, which could have been worse," Sita Ram said.

"They tied me to a tree and beat me with sticks and belts. They didn't like me with a moustache because they believed it suited only the Rajputs. They kept pulling at my moustache till I started bleeding.

"Then they put urine in a shoe, which was lying there, and forced me to drink it," Sita Ram said, adding that it would be difficult for him and his family to live in the village after the arrest of the Rajputs.

Around 50 per cent of the village's population are Rajputs while 20 per cent are Dalits.

Brijlal, the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Commission, has sought a report on the alleged atrocity from Badaun police.

Himself a Dalit and a former director-general of police, Brijlal has said Sita Ram's family will be provided security so that they can live in the village without fear.

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