Gundlupet Attack: Dalit Activists Embrace Buddhism in Protest Gathering
Image Courtesy: The Hindu
New Delhi: Hundreds of protesters, including Buddhist monks and people from various dalit and progresssive organisations, on Tuesday gathered near the Shanimahatma temple near Veeranapura gate in Gundlupet, Karnataka, to condemn the attack on a dalit youth. Pratap, the youth was beaten up and paraded naked allegedly by some upper caste men. The protesters also embraced Buddhism and took pledge to follow Buddhist principles. They also criticised the police for the delay in taking action against the culprits.
In the rally, the protesters shouted slogans praising Buddhism, declaring that “there is no love, compassion and equality in Hinduism”. They took a pledge to join Buddhism as Buddhist monks Gjana Sheela and Bodiraksha read out the Panchsheel of Buddha, considered the basic code of ethics to be followed by a practitioner of Buddism, The New Indian Express reported.
Among those who participated was the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, an organisation which is actively involved in the anti-caste movement across the state.
The attack on Pratap ii one among the many reported incidents of violence against dalits in recent time. The incident made news after a purported video of the attack went viral on social media. On July 12, the Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samithi held a protest at Deputy commissioner’s office demanding a proper and fair investigation in the case.
Pratap, a resident of Gundlupet, was attacked on June 3 by some people alleging that he polluted the village temple by entering it. The police registered a complaint against those who attacked him seven days after the incident. Pratap is now under treatment for depression and other health issues in a private hospital in Mysuru city, and is under serious mental trauma, according to his family.
This Monday, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Vice-Chairman I. Murugan carried a detailed enquiry by meeting Pratap and his relatives, and asked the police to file a case against the two policemen, who have been suspended for “neglect” of duties under Section 4 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The suspended assistant sub-inspector C. Rajendra Prasad and head constable Srinivas are now facing departmental inquiry.
The district administration has given Rs 25,000 as immediate compensation to the victim. The remaining compensation in the atrocity case will be given after the filing of chargesheet and closure of the case, official reports says.
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