Gujarat Dalit youth claim rise in attacks by upper caste men for sporting moustaches, attending garba events

Two days after a 21-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of upper caste men for attending a navratri event in Gujarat's Anand district, a 17-year-old Dalit boy was attacked for sporting a moustache in Gandhinagar's Limbodara village.

According to The Indian Express, 17-year-old Digant was returning from school around 5.30 pm when he was attacked, allegedly by upper caste men who claim Dalits don't have rights to sport a moustache. The report added that the boy was also assaulted once earlier on 25 September, when he was with his 24-year-old cousin, allegedly by Darbars for sporting a moustache.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to Digant's uncle, the attack came as response to an earlier complaint lodged by Piyush against the upper caste men, Deccan Chronicle reported.

"Digant was present when Piyush was thrashed. On Tuesday, two men, who were wearing masks, intercepted Digant when he was returning home after giving his exam. The bikers told Digant that they have received Rs. 1.5 lakh to attack those who had lodged the FIR," alleged his uncle Kirit Maheria.

"Before Digant could understand anything, one of them attacked him with a blade and made several cuts on his back. Digant received deep wounds in the attack. He is now out of danger," he claimed.

Barely a week ago, on 29 September, 30-year-old law student Krunal Maheria was allegedly beaten up by one Bharatsinh Vaghela for sporting a moustache, NDTV reported.

He returned home on Sunday after undergoing treatment at the Gandhinagar civil hospital. "When I was visiting my friend on Friday night, Vaghela and some others intercepted me and verbally abused me. Vaghela told me that I cannot become a Rajput by just sporting a moustache. When I ignored him, Vaghela beat me up with a stick," Maheria told PTI.

Based on his complaint, police had lodged an FIR against Vaghela under section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC and under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, a Kalol taluka police official said.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 04, 2017 21:47 PM

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