A 17-year old Dalit student was allegedly tied to a tree and was beaten up by at least two men in Patan district. The incident occurred on March 18 when the teenager was about to appear in class XII board examination. He was forcefully taken to a secluded farm where he was thrashed brutally.
The police have apprehended the main accused and given protection to the family of the victim.
Patan district's Chanasma police, about 100 km from Ahmedabad city, registered an FIR on March 20, two days after the alleged incident. Police said that the victim Meetkumar N Chavda, a resident of Dhanorda village in the district, had gone to the school-Sarvajanik Vidya Mandir- to appear in board examination of English paper. The school is located at Dhinoj village in Mehsana district.
The FIR states that while he was waiting in the school compound, a man identified as Ramesh Patel came to him and asked him to come with him for some urgent work. Chavda has told police that he knew Patel by face who works as a conductor in state transport bus.
According to his complaint, Patel took Meet to another person who was waiting with a motorcycle outside the school. Patel made Meet sit on the bike and rode towards the farm in Gorad village, which is about 2 km from the school.
“They took him to the farm and beat him black and blue. He was first tied to a tree. The attackers tore a piece of wood from the tree and started charging him. There are marks all over his body that reveals how brutal the assault was. This happened on March 18 and we filed the complaint only after his mother saw the marks on 20th March while he was going to take shower,” said Bharat Solanki, maternal uncle of Meet.
The police registered an FIR against Ramesh Patel and one unidentified person under various sections of atrocity act among other section of Indian Penal Code. No arrest has been made yet.
Independent MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has criticised the incident on his Twitter handle where he wrote, "A Dalit youth Meet Chavda was abducted, tied to a tree and beaten up..."
Mevani's tweet also hinted that the reason behind this brutal assault was a love affair. Mevani also asked the government to take immediate action else "there will be a bandh call in Patan."
When asked about the love affair, the family of the victim denied it. They said that they didn't know the reason behind the assault.
When contacted, Patan district superintendent of police Shobha Bhutada said that prima facie it looks like a case of a love affair but "we are investigating it." She confirmed that the main accused Ramesh Patel has been apprehended last night.
She also said that protection has been given to the family of the victim who is going to appear in an examination on Friday escorted by a police officer.