A group of 20 people allegedly assaulted six members of a Dalit family in a village in Gujarat’s Kutch district on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported. By Friday, the police have detained five accused persons.
The family was allegedly targeted for entering a temple during a ceremony. The attackers belonged to upper-caste communities, according to The Times of India.
Govind Vaghela, one of the members of the family, said the accused persons had warned them against entering the temple. But they went ahead and attended the rituals, after which the accused persons reportedly held a meeting to plan an attack on the family.
On October 26, they let cattle loose on the family’s farm to destroy their crops. When Vaghela and his uncle went to check on the field, the men allegedly assaulted them with axes and rods, The Indian Express reported.
“They stole my cell phone and attacked the autorickshaw so that we couldn’t seek help and told me that they are going to the village to kill my father,” Vaghela told the newspaper. “My uncle and I received injuries on our heads and limbs and we were finally rescued by the police who took us to the hospital.”
Then, the attackers went to Vaghela’s home and assaulted his 64-year-old father and other family members. Vaghela’s father said that the men used casteist abuses against them. “We were hit on our head and limbs by the accused resulting in excessive bleeding,” he added.
Vaghela and his family members were admitted to a hospital in Bhuj, according to The Indian Express.
After the attack, the police filed a case against the accused persons for attempt to murder, trespassing, criminal conspiracy and obscenity. They were also charged under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) act.
Eight teams were formed to arrest the attackers. On Friday evening, five of them were detained.
“We have detained five out of 20 accused and their Covid test formalities are going on,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Kishorsinh Zala told The Indian Express.