Young Dalit writer attacked, threatened in Karnataka

Bengaluru: A young Dalit writer, who wrote a book against the caste system and Hinduism, was threatened by a few unidentified youth in Karnataka's Davangere, a police official said on Friday.

"We have registered a case on a complaint Huchangi Prasad filed on Thursday against a group of 10 people who attacked him on Wednesday for writing the book against the caste system and threatened to cut off his fingers he continued to criticise Hinduism," Davangere's Superintendent of Police M.B. Borolingaiha told IANS.

Prasad, 23, who is doing post-graduation in journalism in Davangere University and stays in the state-run SC-ST hostel in the town, about 260 km from here, wrote the book "Odala Kichhu" in Kannada six months ago and it was released with fanfare for sale across the state.

"Prasad told me six months ago on phone that he received threat calls from some unidentified persons for his critical views against the caste system and Hinduism in the book but did not lodge any complaint then," Borolingaiah said.

The book deals with instances of Dalit ill-treatment and discrimination against them in the country.

Though police did not detain or arrest anyone so far, a probe team has been set up to look out for the suspects and investigate the case registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

"A person came on motorbike and took away Prasad from his hostel room on October 21, saying his mother was ill at his village (Santhe Bennur) but diverted to a deserted place on the outskirts where about 10 people attacked him and threatened to chop off his fingers so that he could never write again," Borolingaiah said, quoting from the complaint in Kannada.

Prasad, however, managed to escape and return to the hostel.

In view of the threat, police has provided security to Prasad and deployed additional personnel at the university, hostel and at his village home.

"We have interrogated some people and activists of a right-wing group to find out the suspects, as Prasad said he did not know them personally but could identify them if found and brought before him," Borolingaiah added.

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