It has been more than two weeks since Pranay’s murder, but caste fights between Dalits and upper castes, particularly the Vyshya community, on social media do not seem to have died down. A few people from upper castes have justified the killing of Pranay and lent open support to prime accused Maruthi Rao.
Provoked, Dalit groups started sharing an equally insensitive post insinuating that Vyshyas are outraged and killing Dalits because “they (Vyshayas) are impotent compared to beef-eating Dalits”.
Agitated, the Arya Vyshya groups have been filing police complaints in several districts, including Nizamabad, Mancherial and Asifabad, against those who have shared the post. One such person, who has been slapped with multiple cases, is Vijay Kumar, a Dalit from Uploor village in Nizamabad district. In addition to a police complaint, he and his family are also facing social boycott in the village.
Speaking to TNM, Vijay said, “I had come across several posts by upper caste people, who were openly supporting Maruthi Rao and asked how could a Mala marry an upper caste. They were making derogatory casteist statements, slut-shaming Amrutha and abusing our community. Hence I shared the post.”
Vijay had shared the post on September 18, and the following day, the Vyshya community organised a protest in Kammarapalle town against him and later filed a complaint.
“Even after filing a complaint against me, the upper caste people convened a meeting in the village and announced that I should be socially boycotted. This decision was taken by the Village Development Committee, which asked me to pay a fine of Rs 10,000, which I refused to.”
Following the diktat of social ostracism, Vijay, in turn, filed a complaint against his complainants, for their atrocities against him.
Dalit activist Madari Rakesh, president of Samatha Sainik Dal in Mancherial district, who had also shared the post, has fled his village, fearing attacks against him.
“The Vyshya groups have filed multiple cases against me in Mancherial and Asifabad. I also learnt that they want to kill me. That is why I had to flee from the village,” he said.
“I normally do not share such derogatory posts, but nevertheless, in a fit of rage, I had shared it. I was agitated with the sort of open support given to Maruthi Rao by casteist elements. However, after I realised that the post was in bad taste, I promptly shared a video of my apology. Yet, they want to kill me,” he added.
Pranay, a Mala Dalit was murdered on September 14 in Miryalaguda, Nalagonda district for marrying an upper caste woman from the Komati community (Vyshya). The murder was plotted by the woman’s father, Maruthi Rao, who is currently imprisoned at Miryalaguda Sub Jail for his crime.