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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Dalit farmer assaulted by upper caste men in Gujarat over a land dispute: Cops

According to police, the victim, Balwant Rathod, was assaulted by the group with swords and knives around 8 am at a farmland in Nesda Golup village under Vav taluka of Banaskantha.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: July 25, 2021 7:35:48 pm
The seven accused have been booked under 307 for attempt to murder, 323 for causing hurt, 324 for causing grievous hurt, 506 for criminal intimidation and sections of rioting as well as sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

A 31-year-old Dalit farmer was allegedly assaulted by a group of seven upper caste men, inflicting serious injuries on him, at a village in Vav taluka of Banaskantha on Sunday over a land dispute, police said.

According to police, the victim, Balwant Rathod, was assaulted by the group with swords and knives around 8 am at a farmland in Nesda Golup village under Suigam police station jurisdiction and Vav taluka of Banaskantha. Rathod was at his farmland after its fences were set on fire allegedly by the accused on Saturday night, his family members said.

As per an FIR lodged at Suigam police station on Sunday evening, the seven accused — Swarup Rajput, Baba Rajput, Ramsang Rajput, Gemar Rajput, Nilesh Rajput, Aaba Rajput and Vikram Rajput — all residents of Nesda Golup village, have been booked under 307 for attempt to murder, 323 for causing hurt, 324 for causing grievous hurt, 506 for criminal intimidation and sections of rioting as well as sections of The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Vargha Rathod, cousin of the victim, said in his complaint, “Around 8 am, I got a call from Balwant stating that a group of Rajput men was at his farmland to kill him and that I should reach there immediately. On reaching there, I saw Balwant being assaulted by a group of seven men armed with knives, sticks and swords while my cousin was lying in a pool of blood. We took him to a hospital. The accused attacked my cousin over old enmity due to a complaint lodged against them over illegal encroachment of his land. They had also set fire to the fences covering his farmland on Saturday night.”

Balwant has been admitted to Palanpur civil hospital where his condition is stated to be critical.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Suresh Rathod, another cousin of Balwant, said, “The accused family had illegally encroached upon three acres of land belonging to my cousin over the past three decades. However, due to the efforts of Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani, Balwant had won the possession of his land two years ago. Due to this enmity, he was attacked today.”

HD Vadher, sub-inspector of Suigam police station, said, “An FIR has been lodged today evening and efforts are on to nab the accused.”

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