A day after claims made by various media houses and ‘journalists’ that a Dalit boy was shot dead by upper caste men for ‘praying in a temple’ was fact-checked, social media was once again abuzz with reports of another caste-based atrocity story. On Thursday, there were some reports that three Dalits were tied up, beaten, forcefully tonsured and paraded around with shoes hung around their necks in Lucknow’s Barauli Khalilabad village after they were caught stealing from a house of a ‘Brahmin man’ on June 4.
ये कौन हैं??— Shhh… (@hatefreebharat) June 11, 2020
This happened in Lucknow’s Khalilabad village on 4 June.
Dalit men were beaten up, tonsured, paraded with shoe garland around their neck.
Sharing a report by The Quint, the usual suspects once again descended on the microblogging site and within no time, started sharing the ‘Dalit Lives Matter’ hashtag extensively.
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan was amongst the first to join the bandwagon.
Kashmiri journalist Raqib Hameed Naik, who also writes for portals like The Wire and The Caravan too piped in, also claiming that there has been a ‘sudden surge’ in upper-caste brutalities against Dalits during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Many other people had too flagged the issue on Twitter, sharing the same source of course- The Quint.
Three Dalit men were tied up, beaten, forcefully tonsured and paraded around with shoes hung around their necks in Lucknow’s Barauli Khalilabad village by the upper caste men. https://t.co/iw3VkxBTBJ— IndianAmericanMuslimCouncil (@IAMCouncil) June 11, 2020
They were tied up and beaten and then forcefully tonsured and paraded with shoes hunged around their neck in Barauli Khalilabad Lucknow why just bcause they are dalits n lower cast, allegedly for “stealing a fan.” reports from Asmita Nandy.#Dalithttps://t.co/jPN5nnIILV— Ejaz sayyad (@sayyadejaz5) June 11, 2020
Three Dalit men were tied up, beaten, forcefully tonsured and paraded around with shoes hung around their necks in Lucknow’s Barauli Khalilabad village by the upper caste men.#DalitLivesMatter— Fazlur | فضلور Ⓜ️ (@Fazlur_Rehma) June 11, 2020
The Quint’s report
The Quint, had, in its article dated June 11, titled: “Dalit Men Beaten, Paraded With Shoes Hung Around Their Neck in UP” quoted PGI police station in-charge KK Mishra as confirming that in the incident that happened on 4 June, three men – one belonging to the OBC and the other two belonging to Scheduled Castes were tied up, beaten, forcefully tonsured and paraded around with shoes hung around their necks in Lucknow’s Barauli Khalilabad village after they were allegedly caught stealing a fan from a house of a ‘Brahmin man’.
The Quint mentioned that Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad had shared the video of the incident and tweeted saying “it was a reminder of the Una flogging incident.”
News18 Bengala also reported the same incident with the similar casteist angle.
Police clarify there was no caste angle, accused were from both upper and lower castes
However, like the Amroha incident, these claims are also not true. Lucknow police have clarified that the unfortunate incident had nothing to do with caste bias but it was a case of theft. The Lucknow police said that on that day there were two incidents reported from the village. In the first incident, some thieves were caught red-handed by the villagers with the stolen goods. The thieves were from both upper and lower caste, contrary to the claims made by these media portals that they were all Dalits.
The villagers who had caught them red-handed, had in a fit of rage, beaten them up and shaved off their heads. The Lucknow police confirmed that cases have been lodged against the accused as well as the villagers who tonsured and beat up the accused.
The police confirmed that two villagers, who were amongst those who have beaten up and tonsured the accused have already been arrested. The police were in the lookout for the rest of the villagers who engaged in the incident. The statement also stated that even the people who had beaten up and paraded the thieves were from multiple castes, contrary to what was reported in the above-mentioned reports.
Casteist spin in the Amroha incident
Yesterday, media had attempted to give another crime a similar casteist spin. Various leftist media houses had claimed that a Dalit boy was allegedly killed by upper caste men for praying in a temple.
In fact, The Quint has made reference to this particular Amroha incident in its today’s report as well, particularly to draw an equivalence between both the incidents. The Quint, in fact, wanted to prove that in both the cases the victims were Dalits, who had been tortured or attacked by upper-caste men, trying to create a narrative that the incidents were cases of caste-based atrocity.
The Amroha police had, however, dispelled the rumours yesterday and also taken to Twitter to call out the lies spread by ‘The Wire’ journalist Arfa Khanum and forwarded the matter to the cyber cell to initiate necessary action against her.