A Dalit priest working at a gurudwara in the Malerkotla area of Punjab was assaulted last week by a group of upper-caste Sikhs who even spilled urine on his face.
The victim, Hardev Singh, works as a ‘granthi’ in Abdullahpur Chuhane village, where the alleged assault took place on 14 August.
A video of the incident went viral on the social media, after which Singh gave a complaint to the senior Superintendent of police of Malerkotla.
Based on his statement, a police case has been registered at the Sandaur police station.
Singh named five men in his complaint, out of whom two have been arrested. As per a by Dainik Jagran, those booked include two brothers, and president and treasurer of the gurudwara committee.
The suspects have been booked under IPC sections 365 (abduction), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), along with the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
As per Singh, he was not only assaulted but his face was also blackened by them. He told the police that the assaulters forced him to drink urine. When he resisted, they collected urine in a mug and spilled it on his face.
The attackers recorded the act, and circulated it, Singh told the police.
The accused, on the other hand, have the police that the priest used to regularly call up a woman in the village.
Granthis at gurudwaras are ceremonial readers of the Guru Granth Sahib.
A similar incident was reported from Punjab two years ago in November 2019, when a Dalit man was allegedly forced to drink urine and assaulted.
Jagmale Singh, 37, had an argument with upper-caste Sikhs of his locality. He later died of the assault. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes took suo moto cognisance of the case citing brutality.
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