Rights groups have said that Bajrang Dal members brutally attacked a Dalit family in Koppa in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru district last Sunday claiming there was beef inside their house, in a grim echo of the Dadri mob lynching of last September.
“Around 30-40 members of the Bajrang Dal came and attacked Balraj and four members of his family claiming there was meat inside their house,” KL Ashok, general secretary of the Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum, said.
“They beat them mercilessly with sticks,”Ashok added.
The 53-year-old’s hand was fractured, and members of his family suffered minor internal injuries. All have since been discharged from a local hospital in the town, which is known as the Kashmir of Karnataka because of its tea estates. Koppa is at least 300 km from state capital Bengaluru.
Local police filed a case against at least 30-40 alleged attackers under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, after Dalit rights groups insisted that action must be taken against them.
This, however, did not go down well with local BJP MLA Jivaraj, Ashok said.
“He and the Bajrang Dal are planning to stage state-wide protests on the issue tomorrow,” he said, “First starting from Jaipura here.”
But rightwing Hindutva organisations won’t be protesting unopposed: Dalit rights groups and activists alike are planning to hold a “Chalo Jaipura” on Monday as part of their agitations against the attack.