A Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district was allegedly forced to lick his own spit in public because his son married a girl from a different faith, The Times of India reported on Saturday. The police have arrested two people, including the girl’s father, in connection with the case.

Senior Superintendent of Police Bulandshahr Krishna Bahadur Singh told The Hindu that a case has been registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST Act. “Five persons identified as Bhura Khan, the girl’s father, Narayan Solanki, Khillu, Kuldeep and Vishnu are accused in the case,” Singh said. “Bhura Khan and Khillu have been arrested. Further investigation is under way.”

Krishna, a labourer, said his 21-year-old son fled with an 18-year-old girl from Sonda Habibpur village on June 6, following which her family approached the police.

On June 19, Krishna managed to locate the couple in Delhi and brought them back to the village. The girl was produced before a court and she insisted that she wanted to live with Krishna’s son. The couple got married the same day.

On June 26, Krishna said he was called before the panchayat as the girl’s family wanted to settle the matter. “There were about 100 people, mostly locals from the upper caste and the family members of the girl,” Krishna told The Hindu, adding that he and his brothers were tricked into attending the meeting.

Krishna alleged when he sat on a chair, a local leader pulled him by his ear and asked him to sit on the ground. “I was told to lick my own spit,” Krishna said. “When I didn’t do it for a few seconds, they thrashed me. I finally did it.”

Krishna said he was asked to leave the village. “When I refused, they started beating me again until two people came to my rescue and took me away,” he said.

“We have been living under fear after the incident,” he said, adding that son and daughter-in-law are also in hiding.