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ICC note: These events are all too common in India.

6/25/07 Saran (Bihar) (SVM News)– A Dalit woman named Phulmati Devi, 43, was beaten to death in village Ruparhimpur in Saran District of Bihar in India on 23rd of June.

She was murdered on Saturday by two upper caste men named Dharmendra Tiwari and Guddu Tiwari for resisting the forcible harvesting of her field. Her son Bablu was also roughed up and seriously injured.

Phulmati’s husband Bhagwan Chandra Paswan said to the Salem Voice Ministries (SVM) News Service that her only crime was she dared to oppose the upper caste people.

“Dharmendra Tiwari and Guddu Tiwari were forcibly harvesting our crops from the field for years. But this time we decided to resist their move; but it cost the life of my wife,” Chandra Paswan said.

“The accusers attacked me first for opposing them,” Bablu, son of Phulmati and Paswan said. “When my mother intervened to save me and resist them, they turned to her and beat her to death,” he added.

A police complaint has been filed against the Tiwaris but none of them have been arrested so far.

Police officials say the two are absconding. This is just one of the many incidents where Dalits have been victimised by upper caste people in Bihar.

Last month, a dalit woman Kari Devi of 45 years old was beaten to death by a former ‘mukhiya’ (panchayat head) and his kin in Gaya district of Bihar on the suspicion of having stolen a cow.

A tribal man, Jeevan Munda of 35 years old allegedly beaten to death in Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand State on June 15 by forest guards for an wooden cot that he had brought home.

A few months ago, an upper caste man in Bhagalpur district chopped off the fingers of a 10 year old Dalit girl because she had plucked spinach from his field.

Rev. Paul Ciniraj, national president of the Christian Ministers of the Churches of India (CMCI) and the Director of the Salem Voice Ministries condemned the attacks towards Dalits and minorities. He appealed the central and state governments to take an immediate action to stop persecution of Dalits, Christians and other minorities.

“Many murdered and seriously injured; but governments do not take serious actions. That is the reason persecutions are increasing,” Paul Ciniraj continued.