By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

The Vijayapura police have arrested two persons on charges of hacking to death a Dalit youth, allegedly because he tried to assert his equality by sitting along with ‘upper’ caste people in a temple on the same platform a few days ago.

In a video statement, Superintendent of Police Anupam Agrawal said Siddu Biradar and Santosh Hirlakund, aged between 23 and 25, were arrested. He said the accused had fought with the victim over the same issue a few days ago. They face charges of committing caste atrocities and murder of Anil Ingalagi, 25, of Boodigal P.H. village near Sindagi.

The youth had attacked the victim with knives and killed him when he was having tea in a hotel in the village on Thursday.

The father of the deceased complained to the police that the accused were angry with Anil as he had sat on a platform in the temple “at the same level as them”. Meanwhile, the parents of Siddu Biradar have told the police that Anil was Siddu’s employee in the local gambling den. They had a long-standing dispute over money and that led to the fight, they said. Mr Agrawal said this angle too is being investigated.

Deputy Commissioner P. Sunil Kumar has sought a report on the incident, officers said.

District social welfare officer Mahesh Potdar announced that the victim’s family would be compensated immediately. “We will release ₹4.12 lakh, which is half the amount that is to be paid to the family of a victim of caste atrocity,” he told journalists in Vijayapura on Friday. Dalit organisations held a protest before the Sindagi police station with the victim’s body on Thursday.

This story first appeared on thehindu.com