Hyderabad: In a shocking incident, two Dalit youths were caned and forced to dip in muddy pond by a BJP leader in Nizamabad district, Telangana.
The incident occurred in September, but the video of the incident has gone viral months after.
According to reports, Dalit youths Kondra Laxman and Rajeshwar of Abhangapatnam village went to the gravel quarry on the outskirts of their village to inquire about its permissions on September 17. The altercation was sparked apparently because the two men objected to gravel mining in the area.
The owner of the quarry, M. Bharath Reddy, a BJP leader and the former district general secretary of the party, rushed to the spot and began beating the boys with a stick. He then made them take a dip in a muddy water tank, touch their noses to the ground, and apologise for visiting the quarry.
According to reports, the men pleaded to be forgiven and even fell at his feet but the leader is seen using a stick to chase them into the dirty water.
As they take a dip with folded hands, Reddy stood on the bank and watched and verbally abused them. He even captures the scene on his cellphone. An aide who is waiting beside a motorbike did not intervene.
Reddy has been accused of involvement in two murders and several other cases registered at various police stations in the district. After spending four years underground, he re-surfaced in his native village Gandhinagar in Navipet mandal and has been participating in party programmes.
The police has filed a case against Reddy, following a complaint from a local Dalit leader Manikolla Gangadhar representing Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS), an organisation that fights for categorisation of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, under the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.
“Reddy is absconding. We will arrest him, once we track him down,” Nizamabad (rural) circle inspector of police N Buchaiah said.
Buchaiah said it was not exactly clear when the incident had happened as the victims had not come forward to lodge a complaint fearing a threat from the BJP leader.
The Dalits sit at the bottom of the Hindu caste system in India and complaints of discrimination and slight against them are still widespread. India banned caste-based discrimination in 1955 but Dalits continue to suffer routine violence and discrimination.