Dalit man hacked to death in Gujarat’s Thangadh, community protests

Two accused — Naresh Dhandhal and Devraj Jalu, residents of Thangadh — were arrested and efforts are on to nab the third.

A Dalit man was hacked to death and another shot at and injured by three men — two from the upper caste Darbar community — in Thangadh town of Surendranagar district Wednesday night.

The deceased has been identified as Prakash Parmar (32), a labourer and resident of Ambed-kar Nagar of Thangadh, while his uncle Suresh Parmar (30) has been admitted at Rajkot Civil hospital with a bullet injury. Suresh, a labourer, has lodged a complaint with the police.

Two accused — Naresh Dhandhal and Devraj Jalu, residents of Thangadh — were arrested and efforts are on to nab the third. Prime accused Dhandhal was out on bail in a case under the Atrocity Act when he allegedly committed the crime. Thangadh police said a relative of Suresh lodged a case under the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocity) Act against the accused.

Out on bail, Dhandhal on Wednesday went to Suresh’s house along with two aides, looking for the relative. An altercation took place, following which Dhandhal allegedly hit Prakash with a scythe, causing a head injury. When Suresh tried to intervene, Dhandhal’s aides stopped him. Dhandhal then fired three rounds on Suresh from his revolver and one of the bullets hit Suresh below the right shoulder. Both Suresh and Prakash were rushed to Rajkot Civil Hospital. Prakash died of his injuries.

Deputy Superintendent of Police BV Basiya said, “One of Suresh’s relatives lodged a case against Dhandhal who was out on bail in that case. Dhandhal was under the impression that Prakash was instrumental in getting the case registered. Therefore, he went for Prakash.”

The incident triggered anger among Dalits. They kept Prakash’s body at Azad Maidan of Thangadh and refused to perform the final rites till the accused were arrested.

Heavy police force was deployed in Thangadh. Top officials of the state government held talks with the kin of the deceased who had put forward several demands such as land, protection, licence to hold weapons and a government job as compensation.

Surendranagar district Superintendent of Police Mahendra Bagadiya,said, “They put forward demands and gave a memorandum to the Mamlatdar. They have been given assurance of compensation as per rules.” Bagadiya added that after the assurance, family members of the deceased took the body and performed the last rites.

Source: The Indian Express