Violence against Dalits spreads to Karnataka
Violence against Dalits is reaching epic proportions infuriating the Dalit community. India in recent times has witnessed major incidents of violence against Dalits in the name of protection of cows. Since last week in Karnataka, hundreds of Dalit villagers have come together and have been protesting over the issue of alleged Bajrang Dal members thrashing five members of Dalit family in Chikmagulur district on the suspicion that they slaughtered cow and cooked beef.
Victims of violence booked
According to reports, the Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum, which has filed a complaint on behalf of the family, has alleged that 40-50 members of Bajrang Dal attacked the five men and one of them had an orthopaedic disability. The police allegedly didn’t help the victims, instead, Muthappa, 26, Dhanush, 24, Palaraja, 56, Ramesh, 35 and Sandeep, 20 were booked under Karnataka’s anti-cow slaughter law. Though the cow was legally purchased in Shantipura from a local resident, the attackers travelled 300 kilometres from Bengaluru to Shantipura and thrashed the five men.
Dalit Sangharsha Samithi activist Sekhar told Hindustan Times, “No work in houses, fields, roads will happen without us Dalits. If you attack us, we will hit back. It is happening in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and now in Chikmagulur. We will not tolerate this.” It was only after some lawyers and activists intervened that the police registered cases against seven of the Bajrang Dal activists. They are now out on bail. There’s a lack of clarity in the law regarding slaughtering of cow in the state. However, it does not prevent consumption of beef.