Karnataka police felicitated the police officers and local residents who made a daring attempt to prevent the alleged stripping and parading of a Dalit woman at Vantamuri village of Belagavi district. The felicitation programme was held at the Belagavi City Police Grounds on Saturday, December 30. The residents of Vantamuri village Jahangir Tahsildar, Wasim Makandar, Gram Panchayat Chairman Siddappa Holikar were felicitated for showing courage to prevent the assault.
The letter of appreciation given by the court was handed over to them by the Belagavi Police Commissioner Siddaramappa. They were also given Rs 3,000 cash award. PSI Manjunath Hulakunda and five others were also facilitated for rushing to the spot immediately and initiating action.
Police Commissioner Siddaramappa said that the department had facilitated those who attempted to prevent the incident in Vantamuri village. Three residents of Vantamuri village are facilitated and honoured with certificates conferred by the court.
He said that PSI Manjunath was given Rs 5,000 cash and other staff was given Rs 4,000 cash award.
“The people who informed the police will be given protection. The public should not fear and inform police if any untoward incident reports,” he said.
On December 10, the 42-year-old woman was dragged outside her home, stripped naked, and paraded. She was then tied to an electric pole and assaulted, reportedly because her son had eloped with a girl from the village. The terror was unleashed on the boy's mother by the family members of the girl.
The Karnataka High Court had strongly criticised the government earlier for the failure of the police department to prevent the incident.
The Bench remarked: "Imagine the fear among other women? They will feel unsafe in the country. Such an incident did not even take place in Mahabharata. Draupadi had Lord Krishna who came up to help her, but in the modern world, no one came to help this woman. Unfortunately, this is a world of Duryodhanas and Dushasanas."
The Karnataka High Court also expressed that the villagers who stood mute spectators as a Dalit woman was stripped and paraded naked, should be fined by the government while the collected money must be given to the victim.
A Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice PB Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit, while looking into the Suo Motu PIL filed regarding the case, further said that the Karnataka government should make a provision for punishment or imposition of fines on the people of Vantamuri Village in Belagavi district where the incident took place.
The case is now investigated by the special wing Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The police have arrested all 13 accused persons including a minor in connection with the case.
The state government had awarded 2 acres of land to the victim.