In a terrifying incident, two Dalit men were allegedly tortured to death in Karnataka’s Peddanahalli village in the Tumakuru district on Thursday night.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad was quoted by the Indian Express as saying that twelve people have been arrested relating to the case.
“Among the arrested, five belong to the Lingayat community, four are from the Thigala community, and three are from a Scheduled Caste (SC) community. The victims were involved in theft cases, including motors from the farm of the accused,” he said.
The incident occurred on Thursday night and their mutilated bodies were recovered from a nearby pond the next day.
“We cannot come to any conclusion as to whether they were killed because they were Dalits. The probe is still underway, we will be able to tell only after interrogation and investigation,” the senior police official cleared.
According to the police, the deceased – Girish Mudalagiriappa, 30, and Girish, 32, both residents of Peddanahalli village in Tumakuru district, 120 km away from Bangaluru, went with one of the accused Nandish to a secluded place where others were waiting for them.
The 12 accused tortured the duo by beating them first and then allegedly setting on fire dry leaves near their feet. While Mudalagiriappa died on the spot, Girish tried to escape. However, he was brutally bludgeoned to death.
“We are yet to ascertain the reason behind the attack as both the victims had cases of theft registered against them and we are ascertaining whether that was the reason behind their death,” said a police official.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah expressed shock and sadness over the incident. He tweeted, “My heart wrenches to see the death of 2 Dalits in Tumkur. The atrocities on the marginalized sections continue under @BJP4Karnataka govt. I urge @CMofKarnataka @BSBommai to arrest the culprits at the earliest.”
“My deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased. The death of Dalits in Tumkur reflects the apathy of BJP towards Dalits, and the failure to maintain Law & Order under the @BJP4Karnataka govt. Home Minister @JnanendraAraga is unfit to continue & should resign immediately. Govt should immediately announce compensation to the victims,” he added.