Three men were detained in Mumbai after they allegedly beat up a Dalit youth and hurled invectives at him. One of the men has been identified as Jatin Suraj Singh and claims to be a Bajrang Dal worker. However, the organisation has denied he has links with them. According to Mumbai Mirror, a 23-year-old man called Pritesh Tribhuvan, a resident of Samrat Ashok Chawl in Ramabai Ambedkar Nag, was riding around on a bike at 11 pm on Wednesday, when Singh, his brothers and a mob of 30 people attacked him. Tribhuvan told Mirror that they insisted that people were only allowed to display the orange Hindutva flag and not the blue Ambedkarite flags.
Mirror reports: "According to the FIR, the Singh brothers have been booked for intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace (Section 504), deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs (295 A), voluntarily causing hurt (323), and under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015. "
This incident comes close on the heels of the lynching of a Dalit man in Tamil Nadu. Last week, a 21-year-old Dalit man was murdered by three upper caste men apparently because he had broken a plastic tap in their field. Three men first barged into Kathiresan's house in a village in Trichy. When they couldn't find him, they went to hunt for the young auto-driver elsewhere. Then, when they found him, they took him to the nearest market place, tied him up and beat him with an iron rod. "There were about 15 people who were repeatedly hitting him. My mother and sister-in-law reached the spot and begged them to let my brother go, but they said they are taking him to the police station. Instead, they took him to their field and murdered him. Police found his body on their field," Kathiresan's younger brother told Newsminute.
While the immediate reason behind the attack was the the broken tap, the murderers also abused the deceased for having married an upper caste girl. The victim was also known to be fighting for the rights of the Dalits in the area.
These incidents add to the spate of attacks against Dalits that the country has witnessed this year. In March, Dalit scholar Krishna Kirwale was murdered. Though the police said his carpenter was behind the murder, activists suggested there was more to the incident than what meets the eye. In April, a Dalit man who was in love with an upper caste girl in Telangana was murdered, in what was suspected to be a case of honour killing. In March, a Dalit Sarpanch was killed in Gujarat and his family alleged that he was murdered because he had 'dared' to become a sarpanch, despite being a Dalit.