Bengaluru: It took more than a month for a drama artiste and director from Dalit community to lodge a police complaint with the Sathanur police station after he and his entire community members were assaulted and terrorised by locals, who belonged to upper caste, in the area.
It was only on Saturday, that the Sathanur police registered an FIR after the victims along with members from World Humanity Commission (WHC) and All India Human Rights Council (AIHRC) approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and explained the victims’ plight and the NHRC took up a case against police inaction. The victims alleged that caste conflicts and atrocities were growing, but the police was not intervening, said Mariswamy, a member of AIHRC.
The incident happened in Harobele village at Uyyamballi Hobli in Kanakapura on January 11, when the complainant Upakaar Raju, a farmer cum drama artiste and director, went to a shop near his house. He was confronted by a man named Kerosene Gunda alias Pra-kash. Prakash questioned Raju why he had scolded his friend, who was a senior in the village. Rebuking Raju repeatedly, Prakash took him to an isolated place near the shop and thrashed him mercilessly. When his daughter, Anthony Mary rushed to her father’s help, she was also allegedly thrashed by him.
Later when Upakaar Raju’s two sons, Naveen Kumar and Anthony Kumar, went to question Prakash at his house, they too were beaten up by Prakash and his gang of seven men. The gang later dragged the duo to their area and terrorised their entire community by beating up their neighbours and friends who came in support for the victim and his family. Some of them locked their houses and stayed inside while others spent the night hiding in fields, said a member from AIHRC.
Some victims, who went to the Sathanur police station the next day, were turned away and their complaint was not entertained. The police told them to sort it out between themselves as it was a community issue. Later when the victims approached the members from WCH and AIHRC, who in turn took up the issue with NHRC, State Women’s Commission (SWC) and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and lodged a complaint against the police for inaction, the case was taken seriously, said Leo Christy from WHC.
Members along the victims also met up with IG-DGP, Lalrokhuma Pachuau who instructed the Ramanagar SP to look into the case. However, even after that the police were going slow.
It was only after the NHRC took up a complaint against the Ramanagara SP office and Satanur police station, the jurisdictional police registered an FIR.