A Dalit man died in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district after he was allegedly beaten up by a upper caste hotel manager and his accomplice following an argument over food order, PTI reported on Saturday, citing the police.

The 45-year-old autorickshaw driver, Raju Vankar, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital on Friday, two days after the assault.

The manager of the hotel, Dhanabhai, and another accused person, Amit Patel, have been booked on charges of murder, reported The Indian Express.

The incident took place on on June 7 at a highway hotel in Limbadiya village where Vankar ordered take away.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (SC ST Cell) PS Valvi said that primary investigation shows that Vankar had said that the quantity of food in the parcel given to him was less.

“An argument broke out between Dhanabhai and him,” Valvi told The Indian Express. “However, the matter escalated when another accused, Amit Patel, who has his office close to hotel and is related to Dhanabhai, intervened. The duo beat Vankar, who suffered internal injuries, especially due to kicks that landed on his liver.”

The police said that Patel and Dhanabhai also made casteist remarks at Vankar.

Valvi said the accused men have also been booked under sections 323 (causing hurt), 504 (insulting someone intentionally to provoke them) and 114 (crime committed in presence of abettor) of the Indian Penal Code as well as provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Meanwhile, describing the accused men as “casteist goons”, Dalit leader and Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani has demanded their immediate arrest.

“These stories clearly show that people in Gujarat have no fear of law and the condition of Dalits is getting worse,” he added.

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