Updated: March 28, 2021 7:02:33 pm
Banaskantha police have booked 14 villagers under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes & Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Protection of Civil Rights Act and the Indian Penal Code following complaints of alleged social ostracization against 80 families of the Dalit community. Police personnel have been also deployed at Nalasar village of Palanpur tehsil of the North Gujarat district to prevent any untoward incident and ensure the Dalit families did not face any hardship.
According to the police, the FIR has been registered on March 26 after a complaint was submitted by Jayesh Bhatiya (45), a labourer. As per the complaint, the row between the Dalits and upper caste communities is related to a land dispute between two individuals.
In his complaint, Bhatiya stated a member of their community, Jitendra Kalaniya, was fighting a legal battle related to land behind his house, which has also been claimed by one Sardarbhai Suchol (Chaudhary). As a part of the legal process, he added, Kalaniya filed various applications.
“Some of the upper caste community members of the village told us to pursue Kalaniya to stop filing applications. Although his fight is for the truth, we tried to pursue Kalaniya but the latter did not agree. Thereafter, some local people decided to boycott our 80 Dalit families,” Bhatiya said.
Bhatiya alleged the local villagers have been told not to provide Dalit families ration, employment in farms as labourers, allow them to ride transport vehicles, and cut their hair among others.
So far, police have registered a criminal case and initiated legal action against 14 persons. Additional Superintendent of Police Sushil Agrawal, who is investigating the case, said, “It was a personal matter between two individuals which someone made a dispute between two communities. After it was reported to us and we immediately went to the village to a take stock of the situation. Fourteen persons named in the FIR were rounded up and legal action has been taken up against them. We have made preventive arrests to ensure that the situation in the village is not disturbed.”
Banaskantha collector Anand Patel and district superintendent of police have visited the village. Patel could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.