On June 3, 2019, Pratap, a dalit man and a resident of Gundlupet, was paraded naked in Shyandrahalli village in Gundlupete taluk of Chamaraj nagar in Karnataka. He was being punished for having polluted the village temple by entering it. However the incident came to light only on June 11, 2019, when the video was shared on the internet and went viral.
Pratap, who grew up in extreme poverty, had managed to attain a graduate degree with sheer grit and hardwork. He was also an IAS aspirant. A day before the fateful incident, he had gone to Marimallappa Higher Primary School to write his UPSC exam. However, when he had reached the exam centre he was not allowed to write the exam. Taken aback, he spent some time in Mysore and then decided to ride back on his motorbike to Gundlupet.
His bike broke down the same night in Raghavapura. It was then that he was attacked and robed by a few thugs. Shocked and frightened, Pratap decided to spend the night there. At around 6 o’clock in the morning, while looking for shelter, he reached the Shanimahatma temple in Veeranapura gate and took shelter in the temple. The temple priest, who was present there, questioned him about his whereabouts, further intimidating Pratap.
Meanwhile, the villagers had assembled near the temple and started questioning him about his background. Soon they learnt that he belonged to the ‘Holeya’ community which fall under the Scheduled Caste category. This was enough to trigger the upper caste people present there to action. Pratap was verbally abused, while being called “son of a lower born, son of holeyas, you have polluted the temple”. He was then reportedly tied up to a coconut tree and beaten up.
Pratap stood helplessly, begging for mercy, to which the priest announced, “This is the chance to teach a lesson to these Holeyas. They have no right to touch our temples.” Hearing this, the enraged villagers started beating Pratap with anything they could lay there hands on. They tore off his clothes, stripping him naked and tied his hands at his back. He was then paraded naked while being whipped in broad daylight, from the temple till the Ooty-Mysore highway.