Thursday, February 10, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Muslim auto driver, Dalit attacked


Muslim auto driver, Dalit attacked

Anisha Sheth

The incident took place at Serkala village, about 8 km from Vitla

Abdul Khader and Yogish Kumar were returning after watching a Yakshagana show

Four persons allegedly stopped their autorickshaw and assaulted them

VITLA: A Muslim youth and a Dalit youth were assaulted in Serkala
village, about 8 km from Vitla, on Saturday night for allegedly
dropping off Hindu girls to their house in the Muslim youth's

Abdul Khader, 22, and his neighbour and friend Yogish Kumar were
returning to their houses from a Yakshagana performance in Serkala
around 11 p.m. on Saturday when the latter spotted his two female
cousins and their girlfriend (a non-Dalit), on the way. The three
girls are aged between 14 and 20.

A friendly gesture

Mr. Abdul and Mr. Kumar dropped them off to the house of one of the
girls which was at a short distance from the venue of the Yakshagana

When they were returning from the house, four persons arrived in an
autorickshaw and on a two-wheeler and stopped them. They sought to
know why the Muslim autorickshaw driver had taken the Hindu girls in
his vehicle.

Questions raised

"They asked me why I had taken Hindu girls in my vehicle. I told them
Mr. Kumar and I have known each other for a long time and that the
girls are his relatives. But, they did not listen to me and started
beating both of us," Mr. Khader alleged.

The assaulters also insulted him for being a Muslim, he alleged, and
added that they rained blows on his stomach, hip, back and head.

Both he and Mr. Kumar have been admitted to the government hospital in
Vitla. Mr. Kumar said the attackers asked him why he did not travel by
an autorickshaw owned by a Hindu.

Secretary of the Auto Chalaka Malaka Sangha Monappa Salethur said that
targeting autorickshaw drivers like this was condemnable. "We provide
public service. If they attack us, how are we to carry on doing our
work," he asked.

Vitla police station Sub-Inspector Rakshit A.K. visited the victims in
the hospital. He said the victims were not willing to register a case
against the attackers.

No police complaint

Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao said the victims refused to lodge a
complaint saying that they did not want to name the girls.

Action promised

The district police would take the "most stringent action" against the
accused in such cases, as "sporadic instances" of similar attacks were

Asked if any of the assaulters belonged to any organisation, Mr. Rao
said that according to the Sub-Inspector's report, the assaulters
included a cousin of one of the girls who was present on the night of
the incident. He had brought others from the organisation that he
belonged to, Mr. Rao said.


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