A Hindu farm worker in Karnataka was allegedly tied to a tree and beaten on suspicion of having helped his 18-year-old son elope with a minor Muslim girl, police said on Thursday.

The alleged assault on the 52-year-old farm worker took place at a village in north Karnataka’s Vijayapura district on Tuesday, police added.

The farm worker alleged in his complaint to the police that the girl’s father and relatives assaulted him and did not spare his younger son when he tried to stop them.

He suffered multiple injuries and was admitted to hospital, police said.
Additional Superintendent of the Vijayapura, Shivakumar Gunari, said the accused were booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code.

“The girl’s father is yet to be arrested but almost all the other accused have been held,” Gunari added. The boy and the girl have been missing for more than 20 days.

“The girl’s family has not lodged any case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, which they could,” said Gunari.

This is the second instance of tension in the district this month involving Dalits and Muslims. On June 3, a 21-year-old pregnant Muslim woman was allegedly burnt to death by her family for eloping and marrying a Hindu.