Recent surge in anti-Dalit violence: Three attacks, two against minors, one against elderly woman Three concerning incidents of violence against Dalits have been reported in the past few days from the state of Uttar Pradesh

03, Apr 2024 | CJP Team

Three concerning incidents of violence against Dalits have been reported in the past few days from the state of Uttar Pradesh, a state with a poor record of containing crimes against the marginalised.

In two of these incidents, Dalit students were the victims while in the third incident, an elderly Dalit woman had to suffer brutal physical abuse after her goats strayed into the field of another. These incidents of violence have sparked an uproar amongst people. 

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These caste-based incidents of violence underscore the persistent discrimination and violence faced by Dalits in the state of Uttar Pradesh, currently being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party government. One should also note that the state of Uttar Pradesh has continuously topped the NCRB list of states where anti-Dalit instances are prevalent. After these three incidents, we have also provided an overview of the anti-Dalit incidents that have emerged in the state since the beginning of the current year.

Anti-Dalit Crimes (March 26-April 3, 2024)

Assault of minor Dalit student:

On April 2, reports of a minor Dalit student being beaten up for not touching the feet of the teacher emerged. As per a report of The Mooknayak, in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh, a Class VI Dalit student was beaten up by the teacher at a government primary school, namely Murarpur Primary School, for not touching his feet. It had been alleged that the teacher also used caste-related slurs while physically abusing the minor child. Notably, the teacher, Ravi Shankar Pandey, beat the student for not touching his feet as a mark of respect. 

The report states that a case has been filed against the accused teacher in the Uruva police station of ​​Gorakhpur district under the Scheduled Caste-Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act and other related sections in the assault case. The complaint in the present matter had been made by the family members of the minor victim.

Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jitendra Kumar stated to The Mooknayak that a case has been registered based on the complaint and the police is investigating. Action will be taken on the basis of investigation and evidence. It is essential to note that the accused teacher has reportedly been absconding since the incident.

Assault of Dalit elderly woman:

On March 31, a video showing a man beating up a woman with a stick started doing rounds on social media. The abuser can be seen brutally thrashing and slapping the woman. It is also essential to highlight here that the abuser can be heard hurling casteist slurs at her. The video had been uploaded on the ‘X’ profile of The Dalit Voice and can be accessed below.

As per a report in the Siasat, the woman in the video is a Dalit woman of 60. As provided in the report, she was subjected to brutality when her goat accidentally strayed into the latter’s fields. The incident occurred in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahar region. 

As per the media report, the state police have registered a case into the incident under the SC/ST Act and has assured of strict action against the abuser.

Bullet injuries to minor Dalit student:

On March 26, a clash was reported to have taken place between two groups in Silai Baragaon village in Milak area over the installation of a hoarding with a picture of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar. As per a report in the Siasat, during the said conflict, a 17-year-old Dalit boy named Sumesh Kumar received bullet injuries. These injuries ultimately led to his death. It is essential to note that the minor deceased child was returning home after writing his Class 10 examination.

Uttar Pradesh and increasing caste-based violence:

As per the ‘Crime in India, 2022’ report published by the National Crime Records Bureau, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, atrocities against Dalits increased manifold in 2022 from the previous years. The report, which also provides the state-wise data of Dalit atrocities, also depicted that the state of Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of atrocities. As per the report, a total of 15,368 cases of crimes against Dalits were reported in 2022. It is essential to note that the figures of Uttar Pradesh accounts for roughly 28% of the crimes committed against Dalit from all over the country as a total 57,428 crimes were reported to have been committed against Dalits in 2022.

It is essential to highlight here that with 15,368 total cases having been registered in the state, bringing the daily tally of atrocity cases to 40.

Anti-Dalit atrocities reported from Uttar Pradesh since 2024:

In the beginning of January, a 25-year-old Dalit woman found raped and strangled allegedly at the hands of a 27-year-old police constable, who is now identified as Raghvendra Singh, in Agra. The victim’s dead body was recovered from the room the constable had rented, hanging from the ceiling of Singh’s room. 

A separate incident was reported after the Republic Day function at Sardar Singh Inter College in Narauli town, two students reportedly assaulted and beat up a Dalit student who had finished his speech on Dr BR Ambedkar with the chant ‘Jai Bhim-Jai Bharat’. The said incident was reported from Narauli area of UP. 

Another horrifying incident of violence against woman was also reported from UP’s Baghpat area in the same month with an 18-year-old Dalit woman being pushed into a cauldron of scalding hot oil. It is essential to note that she was protesting sexual harassment that she had faced when the owner of the oil mill she was working work at pushed her into the cauldron with the help of two other people. 

In March, a brutal incident of Dalit atrocity was reported from Muzaffarnagar district in western Uttar Pradesh. As per the report of The Mooknayak, a 21-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death after being held hostage over a “love affair” in the Khatauli block of. The police had identified the victim as Ankit. Ankit was allegedly having an affair with a 30-year-old married woman belonging to the same village but of a different caste. The deceased was beaten to death after being held hostage. 

Congress slams UP government, calls the state an “anti-Dalit haven”:

In December 2023, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge had termed the NCRB report to be BJP’s “black letter”, depicting the unsafety that surrounds the marginalised community of. Kharge also added that injustice, atrocities, and repression are part of the BJP’s decade-long agenda of dividing society.

After the aforementioned three cases of caste-based atrocities came to light, Congress national general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that Uttar Pradesh had become a “haven for lawlessness and anti-Dalit hate crime.” Attacking the Yogi Adityanath BJP-state government, Ramesh coined the ruling government to be a ‘double anyay’ sarkar. As per a report of Siasat, Ramesh said “In this Anyay-kaal, the only real slogan that the BJP adheres to is Sabka soshan, Sabka utpeedan (everyone’s exploitation, atrocities on everyone)”.

Image: Representational Image


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