Intercaste couple attacked by kin after 28 years of marriage
In another incident of rising atrocities against members of the SC/ST (scheduled caste/scheduled tribe) community in the city, a couple, married for 28 years, was allegedly beaten up and urinated on by the relatives of the husband in the Gadag district. The husband belongs to an upper caste while the wife belongs to the Valmiki community, classified as a scheduled tribe, the police said.
“The incident occurred on July 8 in Ron Taluk, roughly 385km from Bengaluru. The husband’s relatives had gotten into a fight with the couple, and the wife was injured during the incident. On July 9, we booked a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act). Further, the investigation is on,” a police official said on condition of anonymity.
The incident has highlighted a sharp spike in atrocities against marginalized communities in the state. Between April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, there have been 2,327 cases of murder, exploitation and other cases against members of the SC/ST community in Karnataka, according to data from the state government.
This shows an increase of over 54% since the previous year, in which there were a total of 1,504 cases registered, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.
The cases include murder, exploitation, burns and other crimes against the members of the community.
In the last month alone, Karnataka witnessed at least three victims of “honour” killing, including several others, that include name-calling, denial of services and conflicts between groups that rarely make it to the books.
Two teenagers, a Dalit boy and a Muslim girl were killed in Saladahalli village in Devara Hipparagi taluk in Vijayapura district by the girl’s family, who smashed their heads with rocks, Hindustan Times reported on June 24.
In another case in Baragur village in Koppal district, a boy who belonged to the Madiga community was murdered by the family of the girl, who was from the dominant Kuruba community for being romantically involved.
Activists are taking out a rally in protest against the continued atrocities against Dalit groups in the Koppal district on July 19.
Activists said that there are skirmishes almost daily in rural Karnataka that exposes the dark belly of a state that is globally known for its prowess in technology, startups, aerospace and biotechnology among other attributes.
However, data suggests that the reporting of cases are low, but the conviction rates are even lower. Between April 2020 and May 2021, there were 87 murders, 216 cases of exploitation, 2,024 other instances and three incidents of fire, according to government data.
The government has allocated around ₹2,842.38 lakh as compensation for these crimes.
Out of the 2,775 arrested persons and 2,945 charge-sheeted from crimes and atrocities against SC/ST communities in 2019, only 50 were convicted, and 1,513 were acquitted, the data shows.