Dalit’s Head Shaved For Meeting Upper Caste Girl At A Jodhpur Cafe
A 20-year-old Dalit boy, Rahul Meghwal, was allegedly beaten up and his head partly tonsured forcefully by few men of a privileged caste in Rajasthan's Jodhpur district on 18 February 2020.
The incident happened when Rahul had gone to meet a female friend, who belongs to an upper caste family, that resulted in an argument between the girl's family members and the victim.
A resident of Baldev Nagar locality in Jodhpur, Rahul makes a living by repairing motorcycles.
Local activists who had gone for fact-finding and met the victim's family told The Quint that on 18 February, Rahul had gone to meet a female friend at a cafe near Kalpataru Cinema where he had a confrontation with the girl's brother.
According to the victim's family, Rahul was taken to the house of one of the accused at knifepoint in Masuria colony.
The fact-finding team comprising of local activists claims that 'around 7 men and 3 women were involved in physical assault of Rahul that lasted for almost one-and-a-half hours'.
An FIR was filed on 20 February 2020, on the basis of Rahul's complaint, under sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement) and 143 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC. Charges have also been filed under different sections of the SC/ST Act that prescribes punishment for offence of atrocities.
In his complaint filed at Jodhpur's Shastri Nagar police station, Rahul has described the chain of events that included the accused, “beating him with iron rods, hurling caste-specific slurs and forcefully tonsuring his head”.
At some point, the accused even called Rahul's father, Sunil and “threatened him not to approach the police and even asked Sunil to shave his son's head with his own hands,” says the complaint, a copy of which has been accessed by The Quint.
Speaking to the media, Dalit activist, Geegraj Verma said, “Jodhpur happens to be chief minister's turf and yet, no arrests have been made despite filing the FIR.”
The incident has come to light in the midst of a viral video from Rajasthan's Nagaur doing the rounds which showed two Dalit youths being beaten by members of the upper caste, with the accused trying to insert a screwdriver in private parts of one of the victims.
(This is a developing story)