In a shocking incident, a Dalit couple was on Thursday hacked to death in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district for allegedly being unable to pay back a paltry sum of Rs 15. Mainpuri is Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh’s Lok Sabha constituency and around 300 km from the State capital.
The Dalit couple, Bharat Singh (65) and his wife Mamta (60), were brutally attacked with an axe. They were found dead with injuries to their neck, police said.
Residents of Lakhnipur village in the Kurra police station area of Mainpuri, the couple owed Rs. 15 to a local shopkeeper, identified as Ashok Mishra. When on Thursday morning, around 7 am, the couple was on its way to work in the field, they were confronted by Mishra, who demanded that they immediately repay his money. The couple said they would pay him in the evening. The argument escalated into a physical fight with Mishra allegedly attacking the couple with an axe, a police spokesperson said.
Police arrested Mishra and his wife Rajni, booking them under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (murder) and Section 3 (2) 5 of the stringent Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Police also recovered the axe used in the crime.
Dalits constitute 21 per cent of UP’s population. According to a recent report in The Hindu , with 20 per cent of India’s Dalit population, UP accounts for 17 per cent of the crimes against them.