He was then arrested on false charges after his ‘upper caste’ assailants claimed that the Dalit boy had beaten them up. But the pictures and the caste dynamics clearly have a different story to tell

CJP moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the issue of caste based violence in a small village of Uttar Pradesh where a young Dalit boy was beaten up by ‘upper caste’ men. This complaint has been redirected and transferred by the NHRC to the Uttar Pradesh Human Rights Commission (UPHRC) for consideration and necessary action.

The complaint dated August 27, 2020 was placed before the Commission on November 6, 2020 and it was deemed by the NHRC that the subject matter of the complaint should be dealt with by the state’s Human Rights Commission. Accordingly, a scanned copy of the complaint has been forwarded to UPHRC on November 6, 2020.

The incident occurred in Kunwarpur village, Bulandshahr district, Uttar Pradesh whereby a Dalit boy was brutally beaten up by ‘upper caste’ men for calling the mobile phone of one of the ‘upper caste’ men. The victim, Vishal called the mobile phone of Dipu Sharma, on July 9, to ask when he would come to pick up the Bajra crop when the call was answered by Dipu’s wife and she informed Vishal that Dipu was not at home and the conversation ended. The same night around 10 PM Dipu, along with his brothers, Mukesh and Mohit and two others, Sachin and Prashant came to the victim’s house, and started hurling casteist abuses at him while asking why he had called and spoken to Dipu’s wife. Then they brutally beat him up black and blue with rods, sticks and cable wires so much so that his skin has peeled off. Dipu and others even threatened him that they would kill him.

Vishal, belonging to Chamaar community managed to file an FIR against the ‘upper caste’ men, but no arrests were made by the police. On the contrary, the accused men filed an FIR against Vishal falsely stating that he would speak obscene words over the phone to the accused’s wife and even beat up the upper caste men, for which Vishal was even arrested.

The complaint points out the absurdity of the allegations being made by the upper caste men, “It is extremely pertinent to note here that Dipu belongs to an upper caste and a Dalit entering a Brahmin’s house and beating up family members has never been heard of; it is rather preposterous and unthinkable that such an incident should happen in the Indian society where caste is given such high regard and the divide so deep rooted.”

The complaint further states, “The Dalit family is being intimidated by the upper castes and the police are also reluctant in taking action against the perpetrators belonging to upper caste who enjoy the support of other Brahmins of the villager including the Gram Pradhan.”

In the light of the stark caste divide and caste hegemony prevalent in rural India that has come to the fore in the treatment of the family of the Hathras rape victim, it has become of utmost importance that the UPHRC take serious cognisance of this incident and bring justice to the Dalit youth, who after having suffered injuries had to also undergo incarceration.

Courtesy Sabrang