Vijayapura: Despite the fact that untouchability has been banned in India, discrimination against Dalits still exists, unfortunately, more so even in the times of a pandemic. In a shameful reminder of the same, a 32-year-old Dalit man was allegedly stripped and assaulted by a group of 13 youth in Karnataka’s Vijayapura on Monday. Also Read - Dalit Lives Matter? Farmer-Wife Drink Pesticide After MP Police Destroy Crops, Children Crying Over Their Bodies Leave Twitter Heartbroken

Why? Just because he touched a motorbike of an upper-caste owner!

A video clip of the assault went viral on social media which showed the Dalit man being pinned to the ground, stipped and beaten after he touched a bike of a man who belonged to the upper caste.

Victim Kashinath Talwar father Yankappa also alleged that he, his wife and their daughter were also attacked by the accused when they tried to rescue him from being brutally assaulted.

The incident has triggered outrage in the district against the upper caste accused, as the intervention by the victim’s parents did not stop them from carrying the assault.

“On a complaint by the Dalit victim (Kashinath Talwar), we have booked the 13 accused and investigating the incident, which occurred at Minajgi village near Talikoti on July 18,” Vijayapura district Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal told reporters here.

“Though Talwar claimed that he touched the bike by mistake and pleaded for mercy, he said the accused severely thrashed him with sticks and footwear and took off his pants while he lay on the road haplessly,” Agarwal said, citing from the victim’s 2-page complaint in Kannada.

“A case has been registered against the accused under the SC/ST Act and the relevant sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) on the assault complaint,” said Agarwal.

In a related development, two-three women in the village filed a counter-complaint with the police against Talwar for alleged eve-teasing and ‘flashing’ before them.

“We have summoned Talwar to inquire about his conduct as the women alleged that he teased them, touched them inappropriately and exposed his private parts while they were washing clothes outside their houses,” Agarwal said.

(With Agency inputs)