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Attack on Dalit family: 10 accused held, say police

Six people, including a woman, from a Dalit community, were grievously assaulted by a group of 20 men belonging to another community on October 26 at Ner village under Bhachau Taluka in Gandhidham.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: November 1, 2021 12:22:26 am
According to police, six members of Jagabhai Vaghela's family were attacked by a group of 20 persons Tuesday.

Days after six members of a Dalit family were attacked in a village in Gandhidham of Kutch for allegedly entering a temple, police Sunday said they have detained 10 of the 20 accused.

Six people, including a woman, from a Dalit community, were grievously assaulted by a group of 20 men belonging to another community on October 26 at Ner village under Bhachau Taluka in Gandhidham. While the victims were shifted to a civil hospital in Bhuj, they claimed in their complaint that they were systemically targeted after they entered a Ram temple in the village on October 20 during a ‘pratishthan’ ceremony.

Amid uproar from Dalit leaders and the opposition, police detained five accused by October 29 and the state government announced a compensation of Rs 21 lakh to the family.

On Sunday, Gandhidham superintendent of police Mayur Paatil said at a press conference, “Initially we had arrested five accused in the case. Today, five more have been arrested. A total of 12 teams are working to catch the remaining accused.”

Six members of the Jagabhai Vaghela family were attacked by 20 persons Tuesday. They first attacked his son Govid Vaghela and brother Ganesh on their farmland. Later, the group entered his house and assaulted Jagabhai, his wife Baddhiben, another son Bhura Vaghela and nephew Hasmukh Vaghela.

“The facts of this case will emerge after all the 20 accused are held. The assumption that the village is against the Dalit family is wrong because the main victim Jagabhai had won the gram panchayat elections three years ago against the main accused Bhanji Suthar with 80 per cent votes.

He is a respected member of the village. According to Jagabhai, Bhanji and others attacked him after losing the elections. The family has also claimed that the entry to the temple is the primary cause of the attack and facts are being investigated,” said Paatil.

Taking cognizance, two FIRs were lodged against the 20 accused under IPC sections 307 for an attempt to murder, 323 for causing hurt, 324 for causing hurt by dangerous weapons, 452 for house-trespass for causing hurt, 120b for criminal conspiracy, 506 for criminal intimidation, 294b for obscenity, sections of rioting and sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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