Saturday, February 24, 2024

Dalit student attacked, forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” over WhatsApp Status on Ram, Ambedkar

A 17-year-old Pre-University student belonging to the Dalit community faced an alleged assault and was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” due to a WhatsApp status featuring images of Lord Rama and B.R. Ambedkar. The assailants reportedly took offense, claiming the victim was “belittling Lord Ram.”

The incident unfolded in Humnabad, Bidar district of Karnataka, on January 22, the day of consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

The minor was allegedly targeted for his WhatsApp status, leading to an assault and coercion to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ at a local temple.

“After completing my political science exam and leaving college, I was surrounded by a group of youngsters wearing saffron shawls. They insisted that I get into an auto-rickshaw. When I resisted, citing household work, they forcefully pushed me into the rickshaw and hurled racial slurs at me,” the victim told Maktoob.

“Subsequently, they took me to Veerbhadreshwar Degree College, where one of the five youngsters called someone and asked them to come out. When that person arrived, they collectively started beating me. Despite my pleas for mercy, they didn’t stop. Later, they forced me to a Hanuman temple where I was compelled to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and pay my respects to Hanuman,” the victim added.

The victim, a resident of Hunasagera village in Humnabad taluk, is pursuing Arts at Ram and Raj Pre-University College in Humnabad. As the elder son in his family, the victim aspires to become a policeman to serve his community, driven by a desire to address the atrocities faced by his community.

“We have witnessed numerous attacks on the Dalit and Muslim communities for an extended period in Karnataka and across the nation, which is highly condemnable. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen necessary measures taken to stop this. From Baba Saheb Ambedkar to a teenager, the miscreants didn’t spare anyone,” said Anil Doddi, Taluk president of Bhim Army, speaking to Maktoob.

The FIR, filed against six individuals due to a lack of address proof for others involved, resulted in the arrest of four individuals: Abhishek, Retesh Reddy, Sunil Reddy, and Abhishek Telanga, all residents of Humnabad town.

The assailants are charged under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, specifically under sections 3(2)(va), 3(1)(1)(s). Additionally, charges have been filed under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, sections 506, 341, 34, 504, and 323.

While locals allege that the attackers are associated with a pro-Hindutva organization.

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