In a show of severe brutality, a 24-year-old auto-rickshaw driver from Tumakuru district’s Gubbi village was stripped, made to adorn a garland of shoes and beaten with a wooden club by a few locals as they assumed he was in a relationship with a minor girl.
The incident occurred on January 15, when Abhishek was returning home from Sabrimala but came to light on Wednesday, after a video featuring Abhishek wearing the shoe garland being beaten brutally with a wooden club was circulated through WhatsApp.
Speaking to Suvarna News, Abhishek said a Class 9 girl from his village named Padma was in love with him and he had on multiple occasions told her that he did not feel the same way.
“Padma had confessed to her family members that she was in love with Abhishek and they had tortured her as well. She called me on January 15 and told me that her family members and her father’s friends were looking out for me and that I should leave town as they would harm me,” Abhisekh had told the Gubbi Police Inspector.
Abhishek, also said that he was walking home from the bus stop when he received the call and a few minutes later, while he was passing by the government school, he was dragged into a car by friends of Padma’s father and taken to a shed located in a nearby farm.
“They first forcefully stripped me off my clothes and demanded that I wear the shoe garland. When I refused, one of the guys held a gun to my throat and said he would shoot me if I did not wear it. So, I ended up wearing the garland. Then, the same man began beating me with the wooden club and said he would burn me alive and kill me if I ever entered Gubbi again,” Abhishek recounted his story on Suvarna News.
According to the Inspector, the attackers got some clothes lying around in the cemetery and forced Abhishek to wear it. A man drove him to the outskirts of town and left him there.
“Abhishek later came to Tumakuru and when the video was circulated a complaint was lodged. Padma’s family members had strongly disagreed to her feeling towards Abhishek as he is a Dalit,” the Inspector added.
The Gubbi Police have registered an FIR against five persons. The police have arrested three persons including Padma’s father Kadu Prakash and relatives Ramesh and Maruthi.