BEED police arrested a person and booked three others for allegedly assaulting a 20-year-old Dalit man after spreading a rumour that his family members had tested positive for the coronavirus disease and should be thrown out of the village.
According to police, Hrishikesh Vhavalkar resides with his grandparents, uncle and aunt at Devthana in Beed. On April 6, the accused, Pappu Kashid (29), who belongs to the Maratha community, along with three other men allegedly barged into their house shouting casteist abuses.
In his complaint, Vhavalkar said the accused claimed that their family members had coronavirus infection and should be thrown out of the village. He said the men, who had come armed with sticks, beat him up. The victim suffered head injuries in the incident, police said.
Shirsala police said Kashid was arrested after a complaint under IPC sections pertaining to disobedience to order for violating the lockdown, assault, criminal intimidation and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was registered. The official added that a counter-complaint, for violation of lockdown orders and assault, was also filed against four persons, including Vhavalkar, on a complaint submitted by Kashid. No arrests have been made in the case.
Kashid claimed Vhavalkar and the three others had broke trees belonging to him and assaulted him when confronted.
Beed Superintendent of Police, Harsh Poddar, said since the lockdown was imposed, 16 cases related to coronavirus have been filed. “These include pranks claiming that someone is infected with the virus to much more sinister incidents of families from a certain community being targeted, claiming that they are responsible for the spread of the virus,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines