A Dalit boy was allegedly forced to lick spit and drink urine as a punishment over a love affair in Gaya district of Bihar. Six persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
The incident happened at Kadhauna village under Wazirganj police station in Gaya district, around 125km south of state capital Patna. It came to light after a video of the purported incident was shared widely on various social media platforms since Monday.
The video shows the 17-year-old boy kneeling on the floor of a house and licking spit after being threatened by other people during a panchayat meeting. Several persons are seen spitting on the floor, which the teenager is then forced to lick. He is also supposedly made to drink urine. The Telegraph could not verify the authenticity of the clip.
However, the police swung into action after somebody forwarded the clip to Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Aditya Kumar on Monday. The footage was verified, traced, and six persons were arrested.
An FIR has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Information Technology Act.
“The 17-year-old boy had eloped with a 15-year-old girl of his village on April 2. Both belong to the Manjhi caste. Both were caught by their family members and brought back two days later to the house of former mukhiya Abloo Singh, who chaired a panchayat. The boy was made to lick spit. The girl’s father, uncle and brother were among the people who spat,” Aditya told this newspaper on Wednesday.
He said that Abloo, who had recently tested positive for Covid-19, was absconding. Efforts were on to arrest all the persons named in the FIR, he added.
The SSP also said that a few anti-social elements tried to portray the incident as a caste conflict and spread tension in the society.
“We are identifying those people. Action will be taken against them as well,” Aditya said.