Brendan Dabhi |
Tuesday’s incident took place around 4 pm. The bike borne men, with their faces covOR ered, came up to Digant. While NST one of them held him, the other slashed his back.RIME They also told him that they had been paid to kill him. Shocked, the teen fell unconscious. “He was bleeding when his friends got him home. We immediately called 108 and rushed him to Gandhinagar Civil Hospital. He has received 13 stitches. I do not know when this hatred will end,“ said his mother Chandrika Maheria. The family is furious and want the culprits to be caught and put behind bars without any delay.
“Just 10 days ago, they attacked Piyush (Digant’s cousin) and now they have gone after my brother. The three Darbars against whom a complaint was registered under atrocities act are out on bail. They were granted bail by Kalol court on Tuesday itself when my brother was attacked. We are scared for our lives,“ said victim’s sister Kajal, 18. This is the third attack on Dalits in Limbodhara village in less than two weeks. On September 25, Piyush was beaten up by three Darbars when he along with Digant was returning home after watching garba. The trio hurled casteist slurs at them before thrashing Piyush repeatedly. Kalol police had then lodged a complaint under the atrocities act against the trio from the same village, identified as Mayursinh Vaghela, Rahul Vikramsinh Serathia and Ajitsinh Vaghela. The accused were granted bail by Kalol court on Tuesday. “These anti-social elements harass the Dalits in the village for sporting a moustache and beard and wearing sunglasses. This has been going on for years now,“ said Bharat Parmar, the victim’s lawyer.
On September 29, Krunal Maheria, a Dalit law student from the same village was attacked for daring to sport a moustache. Accused in this case, Bharatsinh Vaghela, is the uncle of one of the accused in the attack on Piyush. Maheria was visiting his friend when Vaghela and others intercepted him and began abusing him verbally.Vaghela allegedly told Maheria that he could not become a Rajput by simply sporting a moustache. When the victim ignored him, he beat him up with a stick. Maheria returned home on Sunday after he was discharged from Gandhinagar Civil Hospital while Vaghela was released on bail by a Kalol court on Tuesday.
In the past 10 days, at least six attacks have taken place on Dalits across the State. The Dalits of Limbodhara village are planning to hold a protest outside Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.
On Sunday, a 21-year-old Dalit from Bhadraniya village of Anand was beaten to death after he defended his cousin who was being abused by the Patels for watching garba. The same day, in Ahmedabad, a Dalit boy from Ahmedabad was thrashed by the family of a girl he was in love with.
On Saturday, Khema Parmar, a Dalit from Patan, lodged a complaint stating that he and three of his family had been thrashed by some members of the Patel community on the last day of Navratri in Ganget village.
Parmar said his attackers were angered by the presence of a few Dalit women at a village garba event, two days earlier.