Sitaram Valmiki, the Dalit farmer from Azampur Bisauriya in Baduan District, who was allegedly assaulted and forced to drink urine by four upper caste men, has gone missing on Tuesday. District administration has reportedly stepped up the security of the missing farmer’s family.
While the family members have claimed that they have no knowledge of Sitaram’s whereabouts, the police claimed that they have been trying to find him.
“The security of the family has been increased. The four accused, arrested, were produced in the court and were sent to jail. We are trying to find him,” Additional Superintendent of Police Jitendra Kumar Srivastav was quoted as saying.
According to the complaint filed by Sitaram’s family members, on April 23, when the 43-year-old went to harvest their family’s 10 bigha land in the field, he was approached by Vijay Singh, Pinku Singh, Shailendra Singh and Vikram Singh – Thakurs from the village, who asked him to harvest their 20 bigha-land first. When he refused to do so, Sitaram was brutally assaulted by them.
“Enraged by his refusal, the Thakurs started beating Sitaram, while hurling casteist slurs. They dragged him to the chaupal of the village, tied him to a neem tree, ripped his moustache and also forced him to drink urine,” Jaimala, Sitaram’s wife was quoted as saying. Thakurs kept saying, “Inka hai kaun, sarkar humari hai (Whose backing do they have, the government is ours),” according to Jaimala.
After Jaimala made a call to the police, a team reached the spot to free Sitaram, as it dispersed the Thakurs. However, later that night, Sitaram’s house was again allegedly attacked by the Thakurs. The police was called again and this time, they arrested Sitaram and Vijay Singh, one of the Thakurs, under Section 151 CrPC (arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences). Sitaram came out on bail, the next day.
According to the police, an FIR was registered against the four accused persons on April 29, they and were taken into judicial custody for 14 days on April 30. Reportedly, the then SHO of the Hazratpur police station has been suspended for not “acting swiftly” at the time of the incident.