Updated: April 9, 2021 7:26:58 am
The Uttarakhand police on Thursday arrested a person, identified as Sunil Rai, after a 32-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death for entering a temple premises in an inebriated state and allegedly creating obstruction in a religious ceremony on Tuesday. The incident took place in Rudrapur police station area in Udham Singh Nagar district.
The police had on Wednesday lodged an FIR under IPC section 302 (murder) against unidentified people on the basis of a complaint filed by Sudha Rani, wife of the deceased who was identified as Joni Sagar.
“But the section in the case has been changed to 304 of IPC (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) after it was found during investigation that the arrested accused Sunil Rai was trying to push Sagar out of pandal but incidentally hit his abdomen. This caused internal bleeding leading to Sagar’s death,” said Ramesh Chandra Tiwari, who is the investigation officer in the case.
Tiwari said Sagar was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Tiwari said the post-mortem report cites internal injury as cause of death.
When asked why the case not registered under SC/ST Act, Tiwari said, “It has been found that nobody at the incident site as well as in the locality was aware about Sagar’s caste. So, he was beaten not because of his caste.”
Sagar’s wife too has not mentioned in the police complaint about caste as reason for assault.
As per Rani’s complaint, when her husband entered the temple on Tuesday noon, 2-3 persons allegedly assaulted him both inside and outside the temple premises. She added that the incident was captured in a CCTV camera installed at a shop outside the temple.
The deceased’s brother Rinku Sagar said that Joni was in a drunken state when he had apparently entered the temple to either get meal from bhandara (community feast) or to attend a religious ceremony going on there. Joni’s brother in-law Virendra Sagar said that the family was not sure about the reason behind the assault.
Sagar was a plumber by profession and was a resident of Adarsh Indra Bengali Colony in Rudrapur police station area. The Durga temple where he was allegedly assaulted is about 500-metres away from his house.
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