A Dalit woman in Karnataka’s Koppal district was slapped repeatedly and abused with casteist slurs by upper-caste neighbours.
The incident of caste atrocity came to light after a video of the assault, shot by the victim’s nine-year-old daughter, went viral.
The child was heard weeping in the background as she continued to record the atrocities meted out to her mother by the upper-caste neighbours.
The video showed the neighbours assaulting and hurling footwear at the Dalit woman after the family’s cow strayed into his field and ended up eating vegetables that were being farmed.
The Standard 3 student was felicitated by the police for showing the presence of mind to run back home and bring her smartphone to record the incident as soon as she sensed something was wrong.
One person has been arrested in connection with the assault.
On the intervening night of 2 and 3 February, the Dalit family’s cow went missing.
It was around 6.30 am on Friday, 3 February when the family noticed that the cow was not in its regular place.
Surmising that the cow would have strayed into the neighbour’s fields, the victim’s husband Ramesh Pujar went in the direction of the Rampura lake, where he suspected the cow could have gone to drink water.
The victim and her two daughters went towards the neighbouring fields.
She noticed that the cow was tied near their neighbour Kallappa Kumbara’s house and farm, and realised that it was safe and alive.
Kallappa Kumbara is a 59-year-old upper-caste Hindu who stays with his five children — three sons and two daughters, of whom Amaresh Kallappa is the eldest son.
As Shobha approached the house to untie the cow and take it back home, Kallappa and his wife abused her with casteist slurs and warned her not to leave her cows unattended henceforth as it was destroying vegetables on their farm.
It was around 8.30 am when the victim was taking her cow back to her house that Kallappa’s son Amaresh started abusing her after a round of abuse from his father.
Her daughter ran back home to fetch their smartphone and made sure that she recorded her mother’s ordeal.
Amaresh was seen hurling abuses at the victim as he approached her and then all of a sudden started assaulting her. Feeling panicked, the girl cried, but she did not stop recording when Amaresh hurled chappals at her mother.
Bhavikya ended up recording a six-minute video clip which had almost all the evidence that the police needed.
The family then posted a part of the video on social media, which went viral.
The Kanakagiri police conducted their inquiries, collected the video footage as evidence and registered a case of atrocities, assault, and outraging the modesty of a woman against Amaresh, who was arrested immediately.