No Country for Dalits? First a Gang Rape in Hathras, Now a Village Head’s Husband Set on Fire in Amethi

Mavis D'Silva
·3-min read

Atrocities against Dalits continue unabated in Uttar Pradesh. In a shocking new incident, the husband of a Dalit village head in Amethi’s Bandoiya village was set on fire on Friday over a money dispute. The man succumbed to his injuries while being referred to Lucknow for treatment. Three people have been arrested in the case.

Forty-year-old Arjun Kori was found in a burnt state inside the boundary of a house in the village around 10:30 pm on Thursday. The family rushed him to the Community Health Centre in Naugirwa for treatment. The doctors referred him to the Sultanpur District Hospital and was later asked to be taken to the Trauma Center Lucknow but died on the way to the facility.

Son Surendra Kumar told reporters that Kori had gone to a market to purchase vegetables on Thursday evening but did not return home. He was found hours later with serious burns. Surendra has alleged that his father had a strong base in the area, which had perturbed his opponents and thus he was killed over electoral rivalry. According to him, his father had taken names of four people, who stuffed a cloth in his mouth and set him on fire after beating him up.

Police force was deployed at the deceased’s house to avoid any unwanted situation.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad was stinging in his criticism of the UP government. “There are frequent murders of Dalits in Uttar Pradesh and the unrepentant Chief Minister of UP is engaged in campaigning for Bihar. The administration should arrest the culprits quickly or else I am coming with the entire Bhima Army,” he tweeted.

Social media users also spoke of the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and how incidents of violence have been on the rise and frequent.

“Is it a crime to be a Dalit? Will Dalits keep getting murdered in this way?”

Whether it is crimes against women or caste-based violence, UP is topping the wrong charts, and the administration along with law enforcement needs to get its act in place or the ‘“jungle raaj”, “goonda raj” labels are here to stay.