Dalit sarpanch killed for contesting polls

Dalit sarpanch killed for contesting polls

A young Dalit sarpanch of Varasda village in Amreli district was killed by people belonging to the upper caste for having contested the panchayat polls last year against their wishes, reports said. Police have so far arrested one of the accused.

Jaysukh Madhad (25) was attacked by three men when he was standing at a paan shop late Tuesday night. It is said he was invited to the spot by one of the accused.

His younger brother, Arvind Madhad, is learnt to have said in the police complaint that his brother was attacked as he had contested the elections against the wishes of the accused.

“The seat from where Jaysukh contested was reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Castes. However, we are investigating all angles,” said Rajesh Parmar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (SC/ST Cell), Amreli.

The men are learnt to have repeatedly hit Jaysukh with iron rods and sharp objects. The sarpanch was rushed to the Amreli civil hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

As the news of the attack spread, several people from the Dalit community gathered at the hospital and refused to accept the body until the accused were arrested.

Amreli district has been witnessing attacks on Dalits for a while now. Seven people were booked in Mandal village for assaulting two Dalits for refusing to dispose of carcasses. Seven Dalits, too, were booked in the case for rioting and assault.

Paresh Dhanani, Congress legislator representing Amreli district, said there were repeated incidents. “The perpetrators seem to be becoming brazen due to the protection they seem to receive from the ruling party in the state. This was evident in Una or Rajula in the past,” he told DH.

The police on Wednesday filed an FIR against the three accused for murder under IPC Section 302 and provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The police have arrested the key accused Deep Dhandhal. They are on a lookout for his younger brother Yuvi Dhandhal and their accomplice Madhu Vala, sources said.

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