In Gujarat’s Mahisagar district, police said that a Dalit man was killed after being allegedly thrashed by an upper caste hotel owner and his companion during an argument during which they apparently hurled casteist insults at the victim.
Two days after being beaten by the hotel owner and his counter manager, the victim, Raju Vankar (45), passed away while receiving medical attention at a government hospital in Vadodara city on Friday night, according to a police official from Bakor police station.
Jignesh Mevani, a Dalit politician and Congress MLA, termed the suspects “casteist goons” and urged their quick arrest. He also threatened a protest.
According to the first information report (FIR), autorickshaw driver Vankar dined at the hotel on June 7. He also requested that the hotel employees pack him some food to take home after lunch.
However, the two accused started shouting at him and hurled casteist insults at him after he objected to the hotel owner about the amount of food packed for him, alleging that it was less than what he paid for.
He was severely hurt when they beat him, according to the police official.
When the victim got home, she informed the family of what had happened. Later that evening, he began to complain that his stomach hurt severely. He claimed that his wife had called an ambulance and taken him to a hospital in Mahisagar.
Later, he was relocated to a hospital in the Panchmahal district at Godhra, from whence he was sent to SSG Hospital in Vadodara. He underwent surgery there, but eventually passed away from his wounds, according to police sources.
In addition to the applicable provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act), a case was filed against the two accused under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult to provoke someone), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation), and 114 (abettor present when offence committed) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Following his passing, the police introduced the murder-related section 302 of the IPC.
The Dalit man’s death prompted a protest call from MLA Mevani, who claimed the victim passed away after being battered by “casteist goons” who left his liver injured.
According to the legislator, the victim’s relatives and community people will stage a protest calling for the offenders to be detained right away. He also claimed that the body of the deceased will not be acknowledged until the accused pair is detained.
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