A Dalit man was allegedly stripped and thrashed with his family in Karnataka’s Vijayapura district on Saturday by an angry mob for touching the bike of an ‘upper caste’ man. A video of the incident has gone viral in which the mob is seen thrashing the man with sticks and shoes after being pinned down to the ground.
After the assault, which took place about 530 km from the state capital Bengaluru, the Dalit man reportedly reached the police station to file a complaint and narrated his ordeal.
“An atrocity case was reported in Talikote yesterday about the assault on the Dalit Man from Minaji village. It was alleged that when he accidentally touched the bike of a man who belonged to the upper caste that he and his family members were assaulted by some 13 men,” said senior police officer Anupam Aggarwal.
Thirteen people have been named in the police complaint. The case has been registered under SC/ST Act and sections 143,147, 324, 354, 504, 506, 149 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Some of the accused are being questioned in the case.
The clip, which has surfaced at a time when people have been asked to maintain physical distance over coronavirus, shows the crowd of men, standing very close to each other, raining blows on the family. Some men are seen holding the Dalit man, who has been pinned to ground, while others beat him.
While strict curbs are in place that discourages people from gathering in groups, the crowd is seen violating social distancing rules. Most of them are not even wearing masks.
The fourth worst-hit state in the country by the pandemic, Karnataka on Sunday reported its biggest single-day spike in cases as 4,000 new infections took the state’s tally to 63,772 total cases.