Karnataka: Assaulted over haircut, 2 dalits attempt suicide in Koppal
KOPPAL: Two dalit brothers who were thrashed and humiliated allegedly by uppercaste men for seeking a haircut in a village in Koppal district attempted suicide by consuming pesticide on Monday.
Police sources said Hanamantha, 27, and Basavaraj, 22, are recuperating at the district hospital in Koppal, and their condition is said to be stable. According to a senior district police officer, the brothers were assaulted, abused and shoved around for seeking a haircut from two hairdressers in the district’s Hosalli village.
A video of the incident has been widely shared on social media. Police said the brothers were attacked in Hosalli village in Yelburga taluk, about 400km from Bengaluru, on Monday morning.
At least 16 persons, including two hairdressers, have been booked under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and the Indian Penal Code.
Seven of the accused have been taken into custody, a police officer said, adding they launched a probe into the incident based on a complaint filed by Devappa, a relative of the youths, at the Yelburga police station on Tuesday.
Sources said the brothers, who reside in a dalit colony in the village, heard about hairdressers Mallappa Hadapad and Kalakappa Hadapad offering doorstep service since they could not open their shop due to lockdown.
When the duo made a request, many people started gathering around the site where the services were offered. Worried hairdressers asked the duo to leave. Sources claimed that the brothers repeated their request and added they will pay for the job. At this point, villagers reportedly asked the duo to leave the place. The video of the incident shows the villagers abusing and assaulting the youths, with a few men raining blows on them. A source which witnessed the incident said the villagers had warned the youths against entering the ‘upper-caste area’.
Koppal superintendent of police T Shreedhar confirmed the incident to TOI and said that one of the brothers refused to leave the place, leading to a standoff. “Villagers forced the hairdressers to turn the duo away,” he said, adding the absconding villagers will soon be arrested.
Courtesy : TNN