A couple who was married nearly 28 years ago was beaten up by the relatives of the husband, who reportedly belongs to a so-called upper caste, in Gadag district of Karnataka, officials said.
The incident happened on July 8 in Ron Taluk of Gadag district, about 385 kilometres from Bengaluru.
“The relatives of the husband had gotten into a fight and the wife was injured in the incident,” a police official from the district said, requesting not to be named.
The woman belongs to the Valmiki community which classified as a scheduled tribe.
The incident comes to light at a time when Karnataka has seen a sharp spike in atrocities against marginalized communities.
Between April 1 2020 to March 31 2021, there have been around 2,327 cases of murder, exploitation and other cases on members of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) community in Karnataka, according to data from the Karnataka government.
This shows an increase of over 54% since the previous year when a total of 1,504 cases were registered, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.
The cases include murder, exploitation, burns and other crimes against the members of the community.
As per the records, in the last month alone, Karnataka witnessed cases of killings, conflicts between groups, among others, that rarely make it to the books.
A teen couple, a Dalit boy and a Muslim girl, was killed in Saladahalli village in Devara Hipparagi taluk in Vijayapura district, about 525 kilometres from Bengaluru, by the girl’s family and a few others, HT reported on June 24.
In another case, in Baragur village in Koppal district, 351 kilometres from Bengaluru, a boy who belonged to the Madiga community was murdered by the family of the girl who was from the dominant Kuruba community.
Activists are taking out a rally against the continued atrocities against Dalit groups in Koppal district on July 19.
Activists said that there are skirmishes almost on a daily basis in rural Karnataka that exposes the dark belly of a state that is globally known for its prowess in technology, startups, aerospace and biotechnology.
However, data suggests that the reporting of cases are low and the conviction rates even lower.
Between April 2020 and May 2021, there were 87 murders, 216 cases of exploitation, 2024 other instances and 3 incidents of fire, according to government data.
The government has allocated around ₹2842.38 lakhs as compensation for these crimes.
Out of the 2,775 arrested persons and 2,945 charge-sheeted for crimes and atrocities against SC/ST communities in 2019, only 50 were convicted and 1,513 were acquitted, data shows.