Dalit youth stripped, brutally assaulted in Ahmedabad

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A Dalit youth was stripped and brutally assaulted by the owners and employees of a roadside eatery in Chandkheda area late on Sunday night following an altercation with the victim and his friend. Police said that it arrested one of the accused on Monday and found after a probe that "incident was not a result of any caste conflict but it was caused following a heated argument over a plate of food."

The victim has been identified as Pragnesh Parmar, a resident of Chandkheda. He had gone to the eatery with his friend Jayesh to have non-vegetarian food. Police said when the meal was being served a plate fell by mistake that is reported to have resulted in an altercation which turned violent.

A video footage tweeted by an independent MLA and Dalit leader, Jignesh Mevani showed Pragnesh stripped of his shirt and three to four men kicking him all over, beating him with sticks while hurling abusive words at him. Police said that beating was so severe that Pragnesh fell unconscious and was rushed to a private hospital from where he was referred to civil hospital where the condition is said to be stable. 

"We have arrested an accused identified as Mahesh Gogaji who is one of the owners of the eatery. We have found that the incident was an outcome of an altercation and not a planned attack. There is no caste conflict angle to this incident and it was not intentional. We are trying to find the rest of accused," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-2, Dharmendra Sharma, under whose jurisdiction Chandkheda police station falls. He said that an FIR has also been registered against the accused under atrocity charges.

In his tweet, Mevani said "I will declare a Gujarat Bandh if the police does not arrest the perpetrators in 24 hours who attempted lynching of two Dalit youth in Ahmedabad yesterday night. Don't think Dalits are cowards: we believe in Constitution!." In another tweet, he said, "I have conveyed the same to the concerned police station. This Dadagiri against Dalits will not work under my eyes. Arrest them today itself or else we will be agitating on the streets."

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