Gujarat: Dalit Boy Tied to Tree, Brutally Beaten Up and Warned Against Informing Anyone
Jayesh Solanki, the victim's uncle, spoke to NewsCentral24x7 at length about the incident.
A 17-year-old Dalit boy was tied to a tree and was brutally beaten up by around five men in Gorad village of Chanasma taluka in the Patan district, Gujarat on March 18, Monday. The incident took place around 1.45 pm when the student went to Sarvajanik Vidya Mandir in Dhinoj village to appear for class XII board examination.
“My nephew was about to enter the school to appear for the English examination when a person riding a bike called and asked him to come along citing some important work. He took him to a secluded place, tied him to a tree and beat him along with four other people with a piece of wood,” victim Meet Kumar N Chavda’s uncle Jayesh Solanki told NewsCentral24x7.
The attackers allegedly warned Meet not to register a police complaint or inform anyone about the incident. After two days, his mother Karunaben Chavda, a labourer in the plywood factory, noticed some marks on his body when he was going for a shower. Meet then told Karunaben about the assault. The family took him to a civil hospital for treatment on March 20. The hospital authorities informed the police following which a case was registered against two of the attackers in the Chanasma Police Station. “Three people were mainly keeping a watch, while two continuously kept thrashing him in Gorad village,” Solanki said.
“He (Meet) didn’t know the individuals who attacked him. However, he told us that they continuously kept saying ‘Hit Ramesh, hit’ and that’s how we came to know the name of one of the persons,” Solanki said. A report in the Ahmedabad Mirror, however, mentioned that Meet told police that he knew Ramesh Patel, the person who called him, by his face.
As per the police, the boy was assaulted because the attackers claimed he was having an affair with an upper-caste girl, and they were against it, the Ahmedabad Mirror reported. “They demanded that ‘he forget about the girl’,” the police said. Solanki, speaking to NewsCentral24x7, refused to admit that the reason for the assault was a love affair. “He didn’t tell us anything about this. Where did you hear about an affair?” he asked, adding, “We have no clue why those people decided to hit him in this manner.”
At present, Meet is in the hospital and visits the school to appear for the board exams. The police have given protection to the family. “He couldn’t appear for the English exam. Now, he has to repeat a year. Who will take its responsibility?” Solanki asked.
In 2018, Meet’s father Nareshbhai T Chavda met with an accident on Diwali. He was undergoing treatment in a hospital in Ahmedabad for a few months and had two surgeries as well. Previously, Meet’s father worked as an electrician with ONGC on a contractual basis. “After his (Nareshbhai’s) accident, the family was tackling with the huge financial burden, and the attack on Meet has just increased the problems,” Solanki said.
Reacting to the incident, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani tweeted:
होली के दिन रक्त के छींटे : गुजरात के पाटन जिले के मित चावडा नाम के दलित युवक को किडनैप करके पैड के साथ बांधकर इतना मारा की देखकर रुह कांप उठे। कसूर सिर्फ इतना कि शायद उसने प्यार किया था। @dgpgujarat, @CMOGuj तुरंत करवाई कीजिए वरना पाटन बंध का कॉल देना पड़ेगा! चौकिदार सो गया है ? pic.twitter.com/UAV5vBqspj
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) March 21, 2019
This is not the first instance when Dalit youth were targetted in Gujarat. Four Dalit men were reportedly beaten up by cow vigilantes near Mota Samadhiyala in Una when they were skinning a dead cow on July 11, 2016.