A Dalit father and his 22-year-old son were tied to a tree and brutally beaten up on Sunday by a group of Muslims in Karnataka's Vijayapura after his other son eloped with a woman from the Muslim family. 50-year-old Mareppa Harijan and his son Ramesh were subjected to the assault in Halagundakanal village.
The assaulters are reportedly relatives of the woman, who allegedly eloped with one of Mareppa's sons Ningappa, a few days ago.
Mareppa's youngest son Ambarish Harijan told The Times of India that Ningappa was in love with a girl from Neeralagi village and had eloped 20 days ago.
"We approached girl's family members and requested them to send Ningappa home if they find him. However, seven members of the girl's family rushed to our village on June 25 and tied our father Mareppa to tree and started assaulting him. When my brother Ramesh objected, he too was tied to a tree and beaten up," Ambarish was quoted as saying.
According to reports, the family first refused to report the assault to the police. However, on Wednesday, they proceeded to file a police complaint against the accused. Mareppa is reportedly undergoing treatment at Vijayapura District Government Hospital.
Vijayapura SP Kuldeep Jain told The Hindu that one person has been arrested in connection with the assault. Police say that the accused were Maibubsab Mujawar, Ameensab Mujawar, Shareef Mujawar (who is reportedly just 16 years old), Babu Mujawar, Rafeek Mujawar, Khadersab Mujawar and Allabaksh Mujawar.
Villagers however, claim that the assault was not a caste issue, and maintained that it was a personal dispute.
Deccan Herald reports that the members of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti held a protest in front of the mini Vidhana Soudha against the incident.