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Dalit Boy 'Forced To Chant Jai Sri Ram' in Karnataka's Bidar, Four Arrested

The incident took place on the same day as the grand inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

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A 17-year-old Class 12 Dalit boy was allegedly assaulted and forced to chant 'Jai Sri Ram' by a group of right-wing activists in Karnataka's Bidar district on the same day as the grand inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

The incident took place at a Hanuman temple in Humnabad on Monday, 22 January, Humnabad Police confirmed to The Quint.

The boy, who studies at a PU college in Humnabad, had put up a WhatsApp status which contained images of Dr BR Ambedkar, Lord Ram, and Lord Hanuman, according to a police complaint accessed by The Quint.

"When I was coming back from college, they stopped me and said that I had posted a status insulting Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman. When I told them that I did not do anything wrong, they grabbed me and made me sit inside an autorickshaw," the Dalit boy said in his complaint to the police.

"Then, they took me to the Hanuman temple near Kullur bridge, assaulted me and forced me to chant Jai Sri Ram. They took me inside the temple and made me apologise," the complaint read.

The accused have been identified as Abhishek, Ritesh Reddy, Sunil Reddy, and Abhishek Telang, as per the First Information Report (FIR).

A case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Section 506 (criminal intimidation), 341 (wrongful restraint), 504 (intentional insult), and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), as well as under relevant sections of The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

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Other Instances of Violence in Karnataka

The incident in Bidar comes a day after Section 144 was imposed in Wadi town in the neighbouring district of Kalaburagi till 25 January.

Stone-pelting and clashes reportedly erupted in Wadi on Monday night, 22 January, between members of two communities during a procession to commemorate the Ram Mandir inauguration in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.

"It was just a quarrel... a heated argument which escalated. The situation was brought under control soon by our force. There is no tension in the area but as a precautionary measure, prohibitory orders have been imposed in the Wadi area of Chittapur taluk. It will remain in effect until 6 am on January 25. The situation is under control," a senior police officer was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Meanwhile, the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in Kotnoor village that falls under the state's Gulbarga district was also defaced on Monday with a garland made of footwear.

This led to heightened protests by many Dalit organisations. Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Kanika Sikriwal paid floral tributes to the Ambedkar statue in an attempt to pacify the demonstrators.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  KARNATAKA   Ram Mandir   Ayodhya 

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