An FIR has been registered in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi after a 19-year-old student was assaulted and paraded semi-nude for allegedly disrespecting Dr BR Ambedkar. The student is from the Lambani community, categorised as Scheduled Caste in Karnataka. The incident occurred at NV College where the boy is a hostel resident. He had refused, due to personal reasons, to participate in a weekly puja for Ambedkar conducted by his hostel mates. At least 20 of his hostel mates assaulted him and forced him to take part in a parade semi-nude carrying a framed picture of Ambedkar on his head.
The incident took place on January 25. Based on a complaint filed by the boy’s father Neelakanth Rathod, an FIR was registered on January 26 under IPC sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 505(2) (offence in a place of worship), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 149 (unlawful assembly). The attack on the student came to light after a video of the parade went viral on social media.
The incident comes in the wake of spontaneous protests that erupted in Kalaburagi on January 23 after a statue of Ambedkar was desecrated with a garland of slippers by unknown miscreants.