Dalit lynched over theft allegation in Gujarat
Rajkot: A 35-year-old Dalit man was beaten to death in this Gujarat district on Sunday after being branded a thief, the tie-and-thrash assault almost mirroring the July 2016 Una floggings in their brutality.
A purported video that has gone viral on social media shows the victim, Mukesh Vaniya, held by a rope tied to his waist as he is thrashed with sticks - much like the four Dalit youths who were assaulted in Una in the state's Gir Somnath district.
The four, who skinned dead animals for a living, had been chained to a car and assaulted mercilessly after being wrongly accused of killing cows.
Police in Rajkot have arrested five persons based on the video footage of Sunday's incident. "A man who used to collect garbage was beaten up by some people at the Radadiya Industries compound near Shapar town yesterday (Sunday). The factory owner accused him and his wife of theft," superintendent of police, Rajkot (rural), Shruti S. Mehta said.
Mehta said the victim's wife had lodged a complaint at Shapar-Veraval police station in Rajkot on Sunday evening, accusing the five of thrashing her husband.
"We have arrested the five people based on the video that purportedly showed the victim being beaten up. An investigation is under way," she said.
Mukesh and his wife Jayaben were picking garbage near Radadiya Industries, located in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) area, when the five stopped the couple accusing them of theft. According to the complaint filed by Jayaben, the five then beat up her husband.
Mukesh died while being taken to the government hospital in Rajkot, said an official at the police station, adding that an FIR had been lodged under the penal code's sections 302 (murder) and 308 (culpable homicide).
Four of the arrested persons have been identified as Chirag Patel, Divyesh Patel, Jaysukh Radadiya and Tejas Zala.
Police said Radadiya owned the factory where the alleged incident took place. The others are his friends. PTI