A day after a Dalit from Malanpur village in Botad taluka filed a police complaint alleging members of other caste groups of his village had boycotted his community, police arrested seven from the village on Thursday for allegedly subjecting scheduled caste (SC) members to atrocities. Based on a complaint filed by one Pravin Chavda, a 35-year-old labourer from Malanpur village in Ranpur taluka of Botad district, the Ranpur police had booked seven men under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, on Wednesday. In his complaint, Chavda alleged that the accused prevented Dalits from entering a temple of Ramdevpir in their village on Tuesday. Not only this, the accused refused to give plates of the temple to Dalits for a meal the village had organised to celebrate the anniversary of the temple.
“The accused asked Dalits to go home and come back with their own utensil for having their meal. When the Dalits told the accused that their act amounted to atrocity and that they will file a police complaint, the latter warned that should they approach police, the other villagers would boycott them,” said a police officer of Ranpur.
After the argument, two-three shopkeepers of Malanpur refused to sell items to Dalits, leading to the police complaint. In his complaint, Chavda named Bharat Bagdadiya, Bharat Ghaghretiya, Jagdish Ghaghretiya, Bijal Sakariya, Jinabhai Balabhai, Nanjibhai Hamirbhai and Kanjibhai Bhikhabhai. Based on Chavda’s complaint, the seven, who belong to Koli community were booked for allegedly insulting Dalits and subjecting them to atrocities.
Acting on the complaint, Ranpur police arrested the seven on Thursday. “We have arrested the accused and their interrogation is on. We shall produce them in court on Friday,” Mukesh Vyas, deputy superintendent of police (SC/ST cell) of Botad, told The Indian Express. Meanwhile, Ranpur police sub-inspector Bavku Khachar said the villagers had sorted out the issue. “We held a meeting with leaders of both communities today and they have agreed to accept each other and end the boycott,” said Khachar.