Dalit youth assaulted for using public road in Karnataka

Dalit youth assaulted for using public road in Karnataka

Three people have been arrested and a case has been registered against 11 in connection with the incident that happened at Annur-Hosahalli village, where the Lingayats are the predominant community.

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
Updated: December 15, 2021 11:50:43 pm
The victim is identified as Mahesh who belongs to Adi Karnataka, a scheduled caste. (Express)

A 29-year-old Dalit youth was allegedly beaten up on Monday for using a public road in a village in Karnataka’s Mysuru district where the Lingayats are the predominant community. Three people have been arrested and a case has been registered against 11 in connection with the incident that happened at Annur-Hosahalli village in HD Kote taluk, said the police.

The victim, identified as Mahesh, belongs to Adi Karnataka, a Scheduled Caste. A resident of the village, Mahesh was allegedly stopped and assaulted by a group of people belonging to the Lingayat community when he was travelling on a bike with his friend on a public road near a Shiva temple.

Mahesh told The Indian Express that the troubles began four or five years ago after the construction of the temple. “A Mahadeva temple was built jointly by the Lingayat and the Adi Karnataka community in the village. This included the raising of funds and the construction of the temple. But soon after the temple was inaugurated, the Lingayat community leaders told us that Dalits were not allowed to enter the temple. When it was questioned, there were fights between the community.”

“Now it has reached a point that we are supposed to not even take the road near the temple. However, I was against this decision and did travel through the road. Many in my village actually do not take the road,” he added.

“On Monday around 7.30 pm, I was travelling with my friend Suresh and they stopped us saying that we should not be using the road. When I questioned them, they assaulted us,” Mahesh said.

According to the police, the village has around 300 houses of people belonging to the Lingayat community and 35 of the Adi Karnataka community.

The police have registered a case under sections of the IPC and ST (prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989 and deployed forces in the village to avoid further clashes ahead of the village festival due to be held in January.

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