In our country, caste-based atrocities being inflicted on women is not unheard of. In one such instance in Uttar Pradesh’s Khetalpur Bhansoli village in Bulandshahr district an upper caste woman and her son mercilessly beat an eight-months pregnant Dalit woman for touching her bucket and defiling it.

Six days later, both Savitri, the Dalit woman, and her unborn ‘son’ were dead. The post-mortem report stated “antemortem head injury” as the cause of her death.

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Savitri used to fend for herself and her family by collecting garbage from five upper caste homes. She earned Rs 100 a month from collecting garbage. Anju, the woman who beat her, belonged to one of those homes.

“Anju stormed towards her, punched her repeatedly in the stomach and banged her head on a wall. She kept accusing Savitri of defiling her bucket by touching it. Later, Anju’s son Rohit also joined in and beat her with sticks,” said Kusuma Devi (46), Savitri’s neighbour who claims she witnessed the assault.

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Savitri’s husband, told the Indian Express, “I took her to the district hospital the same day, but they refused to see her. There was no external bleeding and they said she was fine. I took her home and asked her to rest, but she kept complaining of severe headache and stomach pain. Later, I visited Anju to ask her why she beat up my wife, but the family abused and threatened me. Finally, on October 18, I went to the Kotwali (rural) police station to file a complaint. My wife was in too much pain and I had to take some action.”

Both Anju and her son Rohit have been missing since October 18. Moreover, people from other upper-class households are choosing to clam up regarding their escape. Her daughter, Jyoti, who is still living in the house, claims to be clueless about their whereabouts.

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