A group of at least eight people allegedly assaulted a young Dalit student in Central Karnataka's Davangere city on Thursday for writing a book on caste system that, according to them, is 'anti-Hindu'.
In the book, published in April 2014, Davanagere University's journalism student Huchangi Prasad, 23, had written prose and poetry on the treatment meted out to the oppressed Dalit community, considered untouchable by the Indian society, The Hindu reported.
Prasad had been receiving threats since the book was published. But on Thursday morning, a man informed him that his mother was admitted to a hospital after suffering a heart attack, and he offered to take Prasad to the hospital.
Instead of taking Prasad to a hospital, the man took him to a deserted area near APMC Yard, where a group of eight to ten men allegedly assaulted him. The incident took place outside the University's hostel for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students.
"They surrounded me and started to push me around. They said my writings were anti-Hindu as I talked about the caste system. They even put kumkum all over my face. They pulled out a knife and said they will cut my fingers off so I can never write again," Prasad told the daily.
He managed to escape the attackers and hide in the forest. Later, he went to the police station to file a complaint. The police have registered a case against unknown persons under section 307 (attempt to murder) of Indian Penal Code and under sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
The incident comes at a time when the writer fraternity in India is protesting against the growing intolerance in the society and many have even returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards to protest against the death of noted Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi as well as the Dadri lynching incident.
Kalburgi was shot dead at his house in Dharwad district, 100 km away from Davanagere, on 30 August. The police had suspected the hands of Hindutva terror outfits behind his death as he had been receiving threats from right-wing activists over his remarks on idol worship.