A 27-year-old Dalit youth was beaten to death after he was allegedly abducted by members of another caste from a village under Dhanera Taluka of Banaskantha on Thursday night. Six persons have been detained in this connection.
According to police, the victim has been identified as Pintu Galchar, a resident of Ravi village in Dhanera taluka, who was allegedly abducted from outside his house by a group of six men around 10 pm on July 16.
On Friday, around 6 am, his naked body, with several injury marks, was found near a bus stand at a tri-junction road outside Ravi village. Galchar was employed as a daily wager and was unmarried, according to his family.
Hours after the body was discovered, an FIR was filed at Dhanera police station and police detained six accused — Hansraj Purohit, Chetan Purohit, Rama Purohit, Ramabhai Babuji Purohit, Kirti Purohit and Gautam Purohit — who have been named in the FIR filed by the victim’s brother.
All six accused are residents of Dhanera village and they have been booked under Indian penal code sections 302 for murder, 364 for abduction, 294 for obscenity and 143 for unlawful assembly along with sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“Around 10 pm, Hansraj, Chetan, Ramabhai, Kirti and Gautam arrived in a Bolero Camper vehicle and forcefully took him away with them. Next morning, we were told that his body has been found near a bus stand,” said Sanjay Galchar (23), younger brother of Pintu, in his complaint to the police.
According to police, the victim has been unable to mention any motive behind the accused abducting Pintu, however, initial police probe has suggested that the accused might have suspected the victim of breaking into a shop at a marketplace in Dhanera recently.
“We have now detained all six accused mentioned in the FIR and they are being interrogated. The victim’s postmortem report is awaited to confirm reason behind his death and team of Forensics have also collected evidence. The deputy superintendent of police (SC/ST cell) has been made the investigating officer in the case,” said S A Dabhi, police inspector and in charge of Dhanera police station.
A senior police official in Banaskantha said, “Prima facie, we have come to know that the accused suspected the victim of being involved in a recent case of theft in a shop. All angles in the case are being investigated.”
Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani reacted to incident and posted on Twitter account, “It is clear that the victim has been stripped and dragged after his gruesome murder. Till all accused are held, we will not sit quietly (sic).”
On Friday, a team of Dalit rights activists reached Ravi village to connect with the victim’s family.
“The family of Pintu is in shock and they have no idea why he was taken away last night. Some people are saying that the accused suspected him of being a thief. By tonight, his cremation will be conducted in the village itself,” said Dalpat Bhatia, a Dalit rights activist in Banaskantha.
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