Bharat Nat and his wife were headed for their daily farm labour when a village shopkeeper, Ashok Mishra, encountered them with an axe.
Manipuri: A Dalit couple was hacked to death on Thursday by an upper-caste shopkeeper in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh when they failed to pay their debt of Rs 15.
Bharat Nat, 48, and his wife Mamta, 45, were attacked with an axe by Ashok Misra in the Kurra area of Lakhmipur village early yesterday morning when they refused to give him Rs 15.
PTI reported that the incident occurred when the couple was going for their daily farm labour when Misra demanded the money. An argument over the matter led to the gruesome killing of the couple.
Superintendent of police Deo Ranjan Verma and district magistrate P. C. Gupta rushed to the spot because of tension in the village.
The police said that the accused, Misra, who had a grocery store in Mainpuri, had been arrested and was booked for murder and under sections of the SC and ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act.
According to Hindustan Times, a police officer who visited the spot of the incident said, “The heads of both of them were severed; the man’s body had nine wounds and woman’s seven.”
Officials said that the couple had five children who were placed under the custody of one of their neighbours for the time being.
The incident comes against the backdrop of a series of attacks on lower caste people across the country and could spark a political backlash against the ruling Samajwadi Party in the poll-bound state of Uttar Pradesh where Dalits form a sizeable portion of the electorate.
(With PTI Inputs)