Police on Monday detained a bootlegger and booked him for allegedly assaulting a Dalit man after tying him to a tree at Arnivada village of Kankrej taluka in Banaskantha district. The police action came after a video capturing the incident went viral on social media on Monday.
The accused in the case has been identified as Bhailuji Solanki, while the victim has been identified as Rakesh Parmar.
Based on a complaint lodged by Rakesh’s father, Bachubhai, at Sihori police station, a case has been registered against the bootlegger, who belongs to upper caste, under the provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, better known as Atrocity Act
According to police, the alleged assault has roots in a dispute between the victim – Rakesh — and one of his uncles, Ramesh Parmar, over a mobile phone. Ramesh had reportedly given Rakesh a mobile phone to get it repaired. Rakesh was allegedly not returning the phone that led to a quarrel between the two. Following the quarrel, Rakesh on Sunday allegedly beat up his uncle who had to be admitted to Patan Civil Hospital.
Police sources said that during investigation it was found that after Ramesh was hospitalised, Dalit residents of the village along with Solanki tied Rakesh to a tree to hand him over to police. According to police, Solanki thrashed Rakesh and the act was recorded by some people present at the spot on their cellphone cameras.
Sihori police said that they reached the village after receiving a call from the people about the incident and rescued Rakesh. Rakesh, according to the police, did not give file any complaint against anybody, saying that it was their internal dispute. He was then allowed to go.
On Monday, police said, they received a call from Patan Civil Hospital informing them about grievous injuries to Ramesh. Based on it, police registered a case against Rakesh.
Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Pradip Sejul said that as the video of the incident went viral on Monday, they tried to register an FIR. However, Rakesh has reportedly gone absconding.
“So then, we contacted Rakesh’s father, Bachubhai, to register an offence, he named Solanki as the person who had beaten up his son. He (Bachubhai) does not know who tied his son to the tree. So, on the basis of the video, we are trying to identity people to book them in the case. A case has been registered against Solanki under the provisions of the Atrocities Act for tying Rakesh to a tree and assaulting him. He (Solanki) has been rounded up,” said the SP, adding further investigations are on to ascertain various factual aspects of the case.
According to the SP, Solanki is a bootlegger with at least eight cases registered against him under the provisions of the Prohibition Act.