Karnataka: Two Dalit youths tortured to death, 12 arrested

Two Dalit men Girish Mudalagiriappa (30) and Girish (32) were tortured to death in Karnataka’s Peddanahalli village in the Tumakuru district on Thursday night.

The police said that twelve people were arrested in the case.

“Among the arrested, five belong to the Lingayat community, four are from the Thigala community and three from a Scheduled Caste (SC) community. The victims were involved in theft cases, including motors from the farm of the accused,” The Indian Express quotes Tumakuru SP Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad as saying.

“We cannot come to any conclusion as to whether they were killed because they were Dalits. The probe is still underway, we will be able to tell only after interrogation and investigation,” he added.

The killings occurred on Thursday night and their bodies were discovered the next day in a pond.

The police said that the two Dalit men were beaten and their feet were set on fire using dry leaves.

Mudalagiriappa died on the spot meanwhile, Girish, who had attempted to escape, was bludgeoned to death, according to The Indian Express.

Several Dalit organisations in the Tumakuru district have demanded strict action against the accused.

“My heart wrenches to see the death of 2 Dalits in Tumkur. The atrocities on the marginalized sections continues under @BJP4Karnataka govt. I urge @CMofKarnataka @BSBommai to arrest the culprits at the earliest,” read a tweet by former chief minister and senior Congress politician Siddaramaiah.

“My deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased. The death of Dalits in Tumkur reflects the apathy of BJP towards Dalits, and failure to maintain Law & Order under @BJP4Karnataka govt. Home Minister @JnanendraAraga is unfit to continue & should resign immediately. Govt should immediately announce compensation to the victims,” he urged.