A Dalit woman from Lakshmisagar village in Chitradurga district, Karnataka, has filed a case against eight men of Nayak community for assaulting her and parading her naked on the village's streets on January 17.
The men, belonging to a dominant Nayak community of the village, accused the woman of helping a Dalit man and a Nayak girl elope from the village.
Eyewitnesses said a group of about 40men beat up 25-five-year-old Bhagyamma before parading her on the streets.
The Superintendent of Police, Chitradurga, Labhuram confirmed that Bhagyamma had filed the case.
"Bhagyamma has filed a complaint against eight people."
He said a couple hailing from different communities had eloped, leading to a rift between the two communities.
"We traced the couple and brought them back to Chitradurga from Davanagere. The girl has given a statement saying that she had willingly eloped with the Dalit boy," he added.
However, the Chitradurga Deputy Police Commissioner denied that the incident took place in the village.
"If a Dalit woman was beaten up and stripped naked, it would have definitely come to my notice. I checked with the superintendent of police, it was only a elope case. For further details contact the SP," he said.
However, Bhagyamma said at least 30-40 men from the Nayak Community barged into her house on the morning of January 17 and assaulted her.
"Holding my hair, they paraded me to the Panchayat office. No one came to my rescue except a Panchayat member. The men beat up my husband also," she said.
"We were taken to the Bharamasagara police station at 11am that day and let off in the evening," she said.
Ravi Kumar, a villager who said he was a witness to the incident, said more than 200 men from the Nayak community had barged into the houses of Dalits that day and warned that their houses would be burned down.
Hanumanthappa, belonging to the Nayak community from the village, said it was only a "small clash" between the two communities.
"There was a small clash and nothing much happened."