Dalits Woman Stripped and Beaten Up by Money-lender

In a shocking incident in Khusrupur of Patna, a dalit woman was stripped naked, abused and beaten up and urinated over her face for being unable to repay debt taken from a private moneylender. This heinous daylight crime committed on 23 Sept. has sent shockwaves across the state with once again exposing Mahagathbandhan government’s inability to contain crimes against dalits and women, and for being unable to break the morale of feudal criminal forces in the state.

Shashi Yadav, Anita Sinha, Rakhi Mehta and Anuradha Devi, AIPWA leaders, Sandip Saurav and Gopal Ravidas, MLAs from Paliganj and Fulwari Sharif, visited the Khusrupur village on 25 Sept. The victim had taken some paltry sum of money as loan two years ago from an usurer and returned it after 2-3 days. But the usurer wanted to take more interest for those two days which was unacceptable to the victim. Facing continuous threats, she lodged a complaint with the police.

A small hamlet of eight families belonging to Ravidas caste have been living under the terror of the money-lender. The situation is so grave that five families have already left the village fearing the atrocities. Recently two more families left this hamlet, leaving the victim as the only inhabitant. On 21 September the money lender accused Pramod Singh and his son Anshu Singh came to the victim asking for the interest money. Anshu Singh threw a brick at the women. This was reported to police, who came but did not take any action. Again on 23 Sept. the money lender and his son came and stayed outside her house. She did not come out fearing for life. After a few hours the attackers threatened to kill her husband, this led her to come into the open. The attackers insulted her with abuses, stripped, beat up with fists and lathis. The police as usual came late to take her for primary medical care.

In the hospital, the woman told the police she had taken Rs. 1500 as loan which by now has been returned with interest, but the moneylender continues to ask for more money. She also said that accused Pramod Singh asked his son to urinate over her and he did so.

A two-day statewide protest was announced on 26-27 September in protest of this atrocity. The CPIML has also demanded to declare private money lending illegal and provide loans for all needy and poor through a state agency. The criminals behind this incident should be arrested immediately and compensation and protection be provided to the aggrieved family.

The leaders said that the divisive and hate filled right wing forces are building up a more vicious social environment where crimes against oppressed communities and women are increasing. Money lending has also become a serious problem and a tool of exploitation in Bihar.