A man had his head shaved and was paraded through the streets of an Indian village for dialling a wrong number.
The Dalit, or low-caste man, said he was trying to call a friend when he mistakenly dialled the number of another villager in Dani Ramjas, Haryana.
"I inadvertently dialled the number of Dharam Singh. The moment I realised my mistake, I apologised immediately and disconnected the phone," the man, known as Suresh, said.
He told the police that a day later that Mr Singh and six of his friends humiliated him when he was on his way to another town.
"They tonsured me (shaved my head) after lifting and carrying me away bodily. That done, they tied me to a motorcycle and paraded me through the streets, thrashing me intermittently," Indian newspaper the Times of India quoted him saying.
Suresh added that the assailants told him not to report the incident to the police.
Dalits are a group of people traditionally regarded as "untouchables" of low caste. Although the caste system has been formally abolished in India, their status has often been historically associated with occupations regarded as impure, or polluting to the individual, such as any involving dealing with dead animals or working in the sewers.
As a result, Dalits were commonly segregated and banned from full participation in Hindu social life. For example, they could not enter a temple or a school, and were required to stay outside village boundaries.
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