Bengaluru: The alleged assault of a Dalit man by a group of Lingayat men over a plate of ‘pani puri’ last Thursday, and a subsequent scuffle between both parties, has led to tension in Jayapura village of Mysuru, Karnataka.
Mysuru Rural Superintendent of Police (SP) R Chetan who was at the village Sunday morning, told ThePrint that cross-complaints alleging assault were filed Friday, on the basis of which FIRs were registered. The next day, local police arrested six persons from the village under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, on the complaint filed by the Dalit man.
Both cases are still under investigation, said SP Chetan.
In his police complaint, Prasanna – who belongs to Adi Karnataka, a Scheduled Caste – said it all started Thursday evening, when he was having ‘pani puri’ at a village stall. “While discarding the plate, I accidentally dropped it on the ground instead of the dustbin. Murthy, Sachin and Naveen, who were also at the stall, started abusing and assaulting me,” he added.
The village elders sent him home Thursday evening assuring that they would discuss the matter next day. However, on Friday morning, six men from the Lingayat community barged into his house and assaulted his family members including his mother and wife, and hurled casteist slurs, Prasanna said in his complaint.
“They assaulted my brother with an iron rod, abused our caste and threatened to set us along with our house on fire,” he further said, adding that the men were enraged about the previous evening’s scuffle.
Prasanna claimed that he had to take his injured family members to the hospital after the incident.
They started it, says counter-complaint
Meanwhile, Mahadevaswamy, a resident of the village who hails from the Lingayat community, said in his police complaint that there was a scuffle Thursday, after which both communities agreed to resolve the matter amicably.
“But on Friday morning, Prasanna’s brother and his aides stopped me and my nephew while we were on our bike and assaulted us, threatening to kill us,” he claimed, adding that they too underwent treatment for their injuries.
“After the intervention of village elders, the matter was put to rest. But the next morning, both groups clashed over the incident. There were injuries on both sides,” a senior official from Mysuru rural police told ThePrint.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)