"DALITS DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO WATCH GARBA"
Dalit man beaten to death for attending garba event
- TEAM PT
Dalit man beaten to death for attending garba event



IN A SHOCKING incident, a 21-year-old Dalit man was lynched for watching Garba dance hosted for upper-caste Patel community in Gujarat's Anand district on Saturday.

At about 4 am on Sunday, Jayesh Solanki was sitting with his cousin Prakash Solanki and two other Dalit men near a temple where a garba dance and other Navaratri festivities were held in their Bhadrania village, when one of the alleged attackers came up to them and made "derogatory remarks about their caste", the police said quoting a complaint.

The Patel man allegedly said Dalits "do not have the right to watch Garba and made casteist remarks," an officer at the Bhadran police station said, adding that he then called other people to join him.
 
Thereafter, the Patel men allegedly beat up the Dalits, banging Solanki's head against a wall. He was rushed to a hospital in Karamsad, where doctors declared him brought dead in the morning.
 
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Petlad, J N Desai, who is investigating the case, said "all eight accused have been arrested and further investigation is underway”.
 
The accused have been booked under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 302 (murder), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Deputy SP (SC/ST cell) A M Patel told PTI it did not appear to be a pre-planned attack. "Jayesh was killed in the heat of the moment, as there was no rivalry between him and the accused. We are probing the case from all angles,” the officer said.
 
Recently, two Dalit men of a village near Gandhinagar were allegedly thrashed by members of the Rajput community for "sporting a moustache" in separate incidents, on September 25 and 29. 
 
Gujarat witnessed its most serious protests by Dalits in years last July, after four Dalit men were tied to a car and flogged for allegedly killing a cow, when, in fact, they were removing the carcass of a cow that had died of natural causes.   

The opposition has accused Gujarat's BJP government of failing to protect Dalits in the state, where assembly elections will be held later this year.
 
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