Dalit attacked for drinking from upper caste’s pot by Bhaskar Mukherjee

In a macabre act of caste violence, a Dalit youth in Saniyana village was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon and had his arm nearly chopped off for drinking water from an earthen pot belonging to an upper caste family.

While doctors have stitched up his arm, the police arrested one Rajender of Daulatpur village and booked him under SC/ST Act.

Police sources said that Pappu first inquired about the caste of the victim, Rajesh Kumar, before attacking him.

The attack comes within two years of a violent caste clash in Mirchpur in Hisar district in which two Dalits - a physically challenged girl and her septuagenarian father -were burnt to death and 18 Dalit homes were set on fire by a mob belonging to the Jat community.

Rajesh Kumar, 31, was on his way to neighbouring Daulatpur village on a tractor-trolley along with 14 others, when he felt thirsty and stopped to look for water.

"Rajesh drank water from an earthen pot lying in a field. On seeing this, a farmer, Rajender alias Pappu, abused him while passing caste-related remarks against him for touching the earthen pot. Not stopping at that, Pappu then attacked him with a sharp edged weapon, almost severing his hand and inflicting serious injuries on him," said Harish Bhardwaj, the district police spokesperson, adding that the weapon has been recovered.

Harbouring apprehensions of tension and violence in the village after the attack, the victim, Rajesh, told TOI, "Strict action should be taken against the accused but I want peace in my village."

He also expressed shock over the practice of untouchability even in this modern age. Rajesh is the sole bread earner in the family as his younger brother is suffering from a serious mental disorder while he lost his parents a few years back. Adeputy superintendent of police rank official has been entrusted to probe the incident.

The Times of India, 17 February, 2012, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dalit-attacked-for-drinking-from-upper-castes-pot/articleshow/11920719.cms

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