Dalit ‘assaulted’ for transporting bull
“Let them stop cattle fairs that are being held regularly in big cities, instead of troubling poor farmers in villages,” Jayaraj, of Hebbanahalli in Sakleshpur taluk, has rued. The 43-year-old was allegedly assaulted by Bajrang Dal activists on August 2 for transporting a bull without documents.
Mr. Jayaraj, a Dalit, told The Hindu on Saturday that he was beaten up severely while he was taking a bull to his sister’s place near Halasulige in Sakleshpur taluk. His sister had purchased the animal for ₹20,000 and had asked him and his friend, Ningaraju, to take it to her place.
“A group of people stopped us and forced us to tie the animal nearby. Later, they beat us up alleging that we were taking the animal to a slaughterhouse. We ran to save our lives,” he said.
Mr. Jayaraj wanted to know who gave them power to stop and assault people for no reason. He named Raghuji, a leader of the Bajrang Dal, and Raghu, Shekhar Poojari and others in his complaint. The police have registered a case under The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, besides the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Bajrang Dal activists argued that they did not assault anybody and claimed they were attacked by locals in Halasulige.
Dileep, an activist of the outfit, told The Hindu, “We had stopped the two people taking the bull and asked them to show a letter to prove that they had purchased it from a farmer. They had no letter and we called the police. When we were waiting for the police, some of the locals reached the spot and attacked us.”
Mr. Dileep filed a complaint naming Aseef, Rizwan and others of Halasulige village.
This case was also registered under the SC and ST Act, as the complainant is also a Dalit. The police have not arrested anybody in either of the cases.
Case based on FB post
Meanwhile, Siddique, of Anemahal near Sakleshpur, had posted a statement on Facebook concerning the incident and the Sakleshpur police registered a suo motu case against him. The police issued him a notice and also seized his cellphone.
Siddique, speaking to The Hindu, expressed surprise over the case. “There was nothing objectionable in my post,” he said.
While many have objected to the police action on social media, B. Girish, Sakleshpur CPI, defended the police stating that the FB post could disturb peace and harmony.