'Bhangi Hai Tu': Sanitation Worker Forced to 'Chant Jai Shri Ram', Assaulted in Delhi

A group of religious extremists assaulted a 55-year-old sanitation worker who suffers from heart issues.
Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi: In an unsettling incident, which took in the heart of the nation capital, a group of unidentified individuals forcibly accosted a 55-year-old sanitation worker and subjected him to coercion — demanding that he chants Hindu religious chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' (Victory to Lord Ram). Out of fear, he complied and uttered "Ram, Ram".

Despite his compliance, the extremists did not let him go. They continued to forcibly make him shout the 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan. After he did so, the demands intensified and was now asked to recite the 'Hanuman Chalisa' — a Hindu devotional hymn.

His inability to recite the hymn as he did not remember it verbally led to a violent assault by the group. The incident took place in broad day light at Karol Bagh — a neighborhood in Central Delhi district.

One Himanshu Valmiki, convener of the Delhi chapter of the Bhim Army, has posted a video of the incident on 'X' (formerly Twitter).

In the video, the victim can be heard saying, “Mujhe kaha, Bhangi hai tu (I was told I am a Bhangi — a casteist slur often used against sanitation workers who belong to the Dalit community).”

While talking to The Mooknayak, Valmiki emphasized on the need to address the rising tide of religiously-motivated violence and discrimination.

Asked did the victim recognize any of the attackers, he denied — stating that it's the job of the police to identify and bring them to book. "One can make a guess about association of such people given the fact that those associated with Vishwa Hindu Parishad or the Bajrang Dal have often been charged for the crime," he said.

He said the victim was taken to Patel Nagar police station where he lodged a complaint. “I have been informed that an FIR has been registered based on his complaint, but I am yet to receive its copy,” he said.

The event has added to growing concerns over the safety and security of sanitation workers.

Himanshu emphasized that such incidents predominantly occur in the northern Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc. However, the occurrence of such incident in the capital city raises significant concerns.

“The religion because of which we were denied government jobs and education is now now being used as a weapon to assault our people on the streets,” he alleged.

The police cannot be reached for comments.

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