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 of 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 an upper caste, under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
According to police, the alleged assault took place due to a dispute between Rakesh and one of his uncles, Ramesh Parmar, over a mobile phone. Ramesh had reportedly given a mobile phone for repair to Rakesh, who allegedly did not return the phone, leading to a quarrel between the two. Rakesh on Sunday allegedly beat up his uncle who had to be taken 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 mobile phones.
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 file any complaint, 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. Police then registered a case against Rakesh.
Banaskantha SP 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.
“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… He (Solanki) has been rounded up,” said the SP, adding further investigations are on to ascertain various aspects of the case.
According to the SP, Solanki is a bootlegger with at least eight cases against him under the provisions of the Prohibition Act.