Three men allegedly murdered a dalit sarpanch in Gujarat over an election dispute on February 28, according to a PTI report. The accused had threatened the victim to not contest the election for the post of sarpanch reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate. The police have arrested one person so far.
Jaysukh Madhad, sarpanch of Varasda village in Amreli district, was attacked on the night of February 28 by three men, police told PTI. Madhad was called to an area near the house of one of the accused late at night, where he was hit with an iron rod and stabbed with a sharp object, the investigating officer told the news agency. The victim was rushed to the Amreli Civil hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The accused are Deep Dhadal, his brother Yuvi Dhadhal, and one Madhu Vala. While Deep Dhadal has been arrested, Yuvi Dhadal and Vala are still absconding, police said.
There were protests outside the Amreli Civil Hospital, where the 25-year-old victim’s post-mortem was conducted. Over 200 dalits participated in the protest. They refused to claim the victim’s body until all the accused are arrested. Amreli Superintendent of Police Jagdish Patel has assured the villagers that the other accused will also be arrested soon.
Members of the Dalit community in Amreli had also protested last year against “police authorities”. Police had registered a case against them after a constable had died on July 19. The protest was held against the flogging of 7 members of a Dalit family in Una for skinning a dead cow. The protesters had then claimed that the constable had died after falling off the police van and not due to stone-pelting. In another Amreli village, two men had been beaten up in August for refusing to clear the carcass of a dead cow. The men had refused to dispose the dead animal after the flogging incident in Una.
An FIR has been lodged at Amreli (taluka) police station against the three men under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common goal) of the Indian Penal Code as well as the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.