Eight people were arrested on Monday by police for allegedly killing a 21-year-old Dalit man for attending a garba event in Gujarat.
The incident took place around 4 am in Bhadrania village, Gujarat, on Sunday.
According to media reports, the Dalit youth was allegedly thrashed by eight members of Patel community.
The victim, Jayesh Solanki, along with two other Dalit men was attending Navaratri festivities near a temple in Bhadrania village, when eight members of Patel community made “derogatory remarks about their caste”, said media reports.
The accused said Dalits “do not have any right to watch garba. He made casteist remarks and asked some men to come to the spot”, an officer at the Bhadran police station said.
The men — Sanjay, Chintan Patel, Jignesh Patel, Rutvik Patel, Vickey Patel, Dhaval Patel, Ripen Patel and Dipesh Patel — allegedly thrashed the Dalits and banged Jayesh’s head against a wall, the officer said.
Jayesh was rushed to a hospital in Karamsad, where doctors declared him brought dead in the morning.
The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 302 (murder), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Deputy SP (SC/ST cell) A M Patel said it did not appear to be a pre-planned attack.
“Jayesh was killed in the heat of the moment, as there was no rivalry between him and the accused. We are probing the case from all angles. The accused will be arrested soon,” the officer said.
Recently, two Dalit men of a village near Gandhinagar were allegedly thrashed by members of the Rajput community for “sporting a moustache” in separate incidents, on September 25 and 29.
The state had witnessed massive protests in July last year over the brutal thrashing of four Dalit men at a village in Una town.