• Vandana Katariya is the first women’s hockey player from India to score a hat-trick at the Games
  • Two men hurled abuses at Katariya’s family after India’s semi-final loss against Argentina
  • The two men also burst crackers outside Katariya’s house after India 2-1 loss in semis

The accused burst crackers, danced in mock celebration and hurled caste abuses at her family, saying that the team had lost because it had “too many Dalit players,” Vandana’s family told TOI.

Aman was arrested from the Roshnabad area of Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district for allegedly making a mockery of and passing casteist remarks against the family of Vandana Katariya who was part of India’s women’s hockey team which lost to Argentina in a semifinal match at the Tokyo Olympics, police said on Thursday.

Soon after the team went down to Argentina, two men allegedly danced and burst firecrackers outside Vandana’s house in the Roshnabad area in a gesture of mockery on Wednesday evening, an official at SIDCUL police station said.

“We were upset after the loss. But the team went down fighting. We were proud of that,” Vandana’s brother Shekhar told TOI. “Suddenly, right after the match, we heard loud noises. Crackers were being burst outside our house. When we went outside, we saw two men from our village — we know them and they are upper castes — dancing in front of our house.”

When they saw Vandana’s family step out, they unleashed a stream of casteist abuses. “They used caste slurs, insulted our family and said the Indian team lost because too many Dalits have made it to the team. They went on, saying that it’s not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out,” the complaint filed by Shekhar said. “Then, they took some of their clothes off and started dancing again … It was a caste-based attack.”

According to a statement from Haridwar Police, an FIR under IPC Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and SC/ST Act has been lodged against three persons Vijay Pal, Ankur Pal and Sumit Chauhan and other unidentified persons at Sidcul police station.

A man, identified as Vijay Pal, has been arrested and booked in connection with the incident under section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code and the SC-ST Act, the official said. The other man involved in the incident has not been arrested yet, he said.