A 13-year-old Dalit boy was allegedly beaten up by four upper-caste men for wearing a ‘mojdi’, a type of ethnic leather shoes, police said on Thursday.
The video of the incident went viral on social media. The incident happened on Thursday in Bahucharaji town of Gujarat’s Mehsana district.
The boy was slapped and punched. The attackers also used a stick to beat the minor. In the video, which was allegedly shot and circulated by one of the accused, the Dalit boy can be seen sobbing and pleading for mercy.
Based on the minor’s complaint on Friday, an FIR was registered against the four men, said Bahucharaji police Sub Inspector RR Solanki.
“It is alleged that these four Rajput youth, including one Bharatsinh Darbar, thrashed the victim for wearing a mojdi. We have booked them on charges of kidnapping, assault as well as under relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,” Mr Solanki informed.
The minor, who was allegedly assaulted, told police , “When I was sitting near the bus stop, a group of youths came to me and asked me my caste. When I said that I am a Dalit, they asked me why I was wearing mojdi despite being a Dalit. When I tried to save myself by claiming that I am a Rajput, they forcibly took me to a place and thrashed me”.
“They slapped and punched me and beat me with a stick. They accused me of trying to be a Rajput by wearing such shoes. I somehow managed to escape and came home,” the complaint of the minor added.
This is the latest incident involving upper caste men allegedly attacking Dalits and OBCs for trivial reasons.
In a separate incident, a video of minor Dalit boys being stripped and beaten up for bathing in a well at Wakadi village, Maharashtra had surfaced.
Earlier today, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi blamed the RSS and Bharatiya Janata Party’ politics for such incidents.
“The sole crime of these Dalit children was they were taking a dip in a well. Humanity is struggling to save its dignity,” Gandhi tweeted on Friday.
He said if “we don’t raise our voices against this politics of hate and poison of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP, history would not forgive us”.
On June 10, three minor Dalit boys were stripped, beaten up and paraded naked at Wakadi village after they were found bathing at a well belonging to the upper caste. The boys were allegedly shouted at, abused, stripped and paraded naked around the village.
In the video, the boys can be seen clutching leaves to cover their private parts while a person can be seen assaulting them on the legs and back with a belt.
At least two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and have been booked under the provisions of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Information Technology Act, besides other charges.
(With agency inputs)