Updated: November 5, 2019 5:05:38 am
A Dalit youth was allegedly stripped and flogged and another assaulted by a group of men at a roadside eatery in Sabarmati Toll Naka area of Ahmedabad on Sunday night. A purported video of the incident that emerged Monday was reminiscent of the Una flogging incident in 2016, which had rocked Gujarat politics.
In the video, a youth is seen being stripped and beaten with sticks. He has been admitted in Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital, and is reportedly in critical condition. The other youth, who had sustained injuries, was not hospitalised.
TW: Abusive words and violence
I will declare a Gujarat Bandh if the police does not arrest the perpetrators in 24 hours who attempted lynching of two Dalit youth in Ahmedabad yesterday night. Don’t think Dalits are cowards: we believe in Constitution! pic.twitter.com/1Ge5Nw76Se
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) November 4, 2019
According to the police, the incident occurred around 7.30 pm on Sunday when two Dalit youth, Pragnesh Parmar and Jayesh, arrived at the restaurant.
“An argument ensued between the eatery owner and Pragnesh after which the former, along with few persons, started beating the two youth with sticks. An FIR has been filed under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and under sections of the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act against two persons – Mahesh Thakore and Shankar Thakore. We have arrested Mahesh who is the owner of the eatery and the other accused will be arrested soon,” said RH Vala, in-charge of Sabarmati Police station.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Metul, an Ahmedabad-based activist, said, “Mahesh lived nearby Sabarmati Toll Naka, so when the argument occurred between him and Pragnesh, his family members and acquaintances joined him in beating the youth. Pragnesh has been beaten mercilessly and he was admitted in Civil Hospital on Sunday night.”
Taking cognisance of the incident, Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani said that if all the perpetrators involved in the attack are not arrested within 24 hours, Dalit activists will call for a bandh in Ahmedabad.
“We cannot let the culture of mob lynching take over Gujarat. In the past six months, there have been 12-13 murders of Dalits in the state and neither the state home minister nor the director general of police is seen condemning these incidents. We will observe bandh in Ahmedabad if the culprits are not caught within 24 hours,” said Mevani.
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