There are many instances of Dalit oppression in Uttar Pradesh in the past. Recently another case of Dalit oppression has come to light in India’s this very state. In the Basti district of the state, a minor couple (man and woman) were ordered to roam around the village after sooting their faces. Both the victims were from the Dalit community. The police confirmed this incident. On the basis of this occurrence, they claimed to have arrested about half a dozen people.
This incident was reported from a village in the Gaur police station area of the Basti district. The Mazhar Azad associated with Aaj Tak created a report. In the report, they said that the Panchayat of the village gave this decree against these two Dalit minors. The victims, a man, and a woman fell in love with each other. According to the news, the villagers saw him in an objectionable position. There was an uproar over this. The villagers presented the couple as a bunch of criminals in front of the village panchayat.
The village panchayat said that soot should be put on the face of the young man. Along with that, both of them should be garlanded with slippers and also should roam the whole village in that condition. They called this walk the ‘walk of shame’. On hearing the decision of the panchayat, the residents of the village blackened the faces of the victims and made them walk across the whole village wearing garlands of slippers. No one in the village opposed this. The picture of this incident is now viral on social media. In the picture, both the Dalit victims are seen in garlands of slippers.
There has been an uproar in the people of the country when they saw the picture and read the whole story. They got angry at the decision of the village panchayat. They could not agree to the misbehavior of the village panchayat with the young couple. There has also been strong criticism of this incident on Twitter. A Twitter account named Satyashodhak Bharat said, “This is India, a caste-dominated country. That is what the Taliban decree says too.” A person named Asha Meena said, “Is this panchayat above our constitution or law which is doing such inhuman behavior? The constitution gives everyone the right to live with dignity. The court will decide who is right and who is wrong.” Another Twitter account holder said, “Such a panchayat should be punished. No one has the right to publicly humiliate anyone like this.”
After the incident was reported, the police swung into action pretty fast. They arrested at least 5 accused and registered a case against many people. The statement of DSP Seshamani Upadhyay on Twitter said, “It is the incident of 28th September 2021. In Singhhi village under the Gaur police station area, an SC girl had a love affair with a boy from the village itself. He also belongs to the Scheduled Caste. The villagers saw him. The couple (both of them) were made to soot, put a garland of shoes and slippers around their neck, and roamed on the road outside the village. After taking cognizance of the incident, a case has been registered against 13 named and many unknown people under relevant sections on the complaint of the plaintiff. Gaur police immediately reached the spot and arrested 5 accused.”