Two weeks after a Dalit youth in Bhavnagar was murdered allegedly by upper caste men for riding a horse, the police are yet to arrest the accused and have made no breakthrough in the case. The investigators have now sought the help of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Gandhinagar, to identify the suspects.
Pradeep Rathod, 21, was allegedly hacked to death in his native village of Timbi in Umarala taluka of Bhavnagar on March 29. In his complaint, the victim’s father, Kalu, had named Natubha Darbar alias Natubha Zala, a resident of Timbi village, as the accused and claimed that Darbar and two others murdered his son as they could not stand his son, a Dalit, owning and riding a horse.
Police had detained Natubha Darbar alias Natubha Zala the same day. Ghoghubha Gohil and his brother Jitubha Gohil were also detained after the victim’s father stated that the duo had issued death threats, saying that a Dalit could not ride a horse and had asked him to sell it off.
However, police have not been able to find any evidence against the trio till date to arrest them. Investigators had detained three others on March 31 for questioning and two more later on. But two-week-long questioning has yielded not result, police said. “There is no evidence against them to make their arrests. Zala is a 73-year-old man and claims that he does not even know the Gohil brothers. The Gohil brothers, on their part, say they don’t know Zala either,” Abdulrafiq Saiyad, Deputy Superintendent of Police (ST/SC cell) of Bhavnagar said.
He said that the forensic experts have been administering the SDS test (mini-polygraph or semi-lie detection test) to the suspects in Gandhinagar since Monday. “The test is likely to go on for a few more days. We are hopeful that the test results will help us achieve a breakthrough in the case,” he said.