Dalit communities in Kalikot still face discrimination, torture in the name of caste system
Jan 22, 2019-
Chan Bista and his brother Narendra Bista from Kotbada in Naraharinath Rural Municipality, Kalikot, attacked Dilli Kami, a 57-year-old Dalit man, citing that he failed to come to their house for work last week. They knocked his tooth out and hit him on his chest, eyes and legs, all the while they hurled racist epithets at him. Police have arrested the Bista brothers but Dilli says he is being pressured by the villagers to withdraw the charge.
Dilli is just a case in point. Dalit communities are still discriminated in Kalikot. They are compelled to face torture in the name of upper and lower caste system till date. “The so-called upper caste people treat us like animals,” said Dilli, who also works as a mason in the village. “People from the higher class often beat us even when we have not made any mistake. We cannot argue with them.”
In November 2011, Manbire Sunar of Maidhara in Jubitha was beaten to death for allegedly touching the hearth of an upper class family. The same year, Sete Damai, another Dalit man, was also killed by the so-called upper caste people. In June 2, 2018, Mana Sarki of Lalu in Naraharinath-9 was killed for having an affair with a man from the upper-caste.
Dalit rights activist Bale Bishwokarma said the majority of the cases related to caste-based discrimination are settled outside the court.
“People from the so-called upper caste are backed by political parties. They often enjoy impunity,” Bale claimed.
Discrimination still runs deep between Dalit and non-Dalit people in rural areas even though the constitution clearly states that caste-based discrimination is a punishable offence. “Villagers usually settle such cases at the local level and the perpetrators usually walk away with a minor punishment,” said Birsha Singh Bishwokarma, the ward chairman of Khadachakra Municipality-2.
Nearly 30 percent of Kalikot’s population is Dalit. Chairman of the Kalikot Bar Association Damanraj Bam said that political parties and their sister organisations are only raising the issues of caste-based discrimination for political gains.
“There’s a need of a concrete political action to end such inhumane practice. The entire community should collaborate to fight against caste-based discrimination,” said Bam.
Published: 22-01-2019 09:32