The main accused in connection with the assault on a Dalit youth in the Sanand area of Ahmedabad was arrested on Friday. The 20-year-old was attacked allegedly for keeping an ‘upper caste surname’ outside a factory where he works.
According to the FIR filed at the Sanand GIDC police station on Thursday, Bharat Jadav, a local, was attacked by three persons around 10pm on Wednesday allegedly for ahmetaking a ‘Kshatriya’ surname.
The 20-year-old, who works at the nearby Magneti Marelli Motherson (MMM) company, told police that he was assaulted by Harshad Rajput, a co-worker at the factory, and two other unknown persons.
“As I arrived at the factory premises around 2pm on Wednesday, I was stopped by Harshad Rajput who asked me to spell out my name. I did as told and he walked away. However, around 4pm, he again accosted me while I was taking a break and asked to name my village. I told him I hail from Bhetani village in Gir Somnath district. He then asked me to spell out my caste. I said I am a Dalit,” Jadav said.
“My shift ended at 10pm and I was waiting for a bus outside the factory gate when two strangers came up to me and demanded to know how I considered Harshad as my brother when I don’t belong to his community. Before I could respond they started raining blows on me. Soon, Harshad arrived at the scene and joined in the assault. He also hurled casteist abuses at me. I somehow wrenched free from my attackers and ran to a catch a bus that had arrived just then. The bus saved my life,” Jadav said.
Acting on his complaint, the police booked Rajput, a resident of Viramgam in Ahmedabad rural, and the two unknown attackers under IPC sections 323 (assault), 504 (intentional insult) and 114 (offence committed when abettor present), as well as sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“We picked up Harshad from his house on Thursday night. He was produced before the magistrate on Friday and sent to judicial custody. We still haven’t identified the others involved. An investigation is underway,” Bhaskar Vyas, deputy superintendent of police, Ahmedabad rural, said.
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