Sunday, August 10, 2003

Dalit killed for entering temple

Bhitasi village, Anand : Not everyone in this Gujarati village was shocked when a 28-year-old Dalit man died on Friday after being thrashed severely by upper caste residents for sitting in the verandah of a temple here.

Police officials and social workers say such incidents occur regularly, but only a handful are reported as members of the lower caste community still fear the wrath of the upper caste residents.

Raman Chaturbhai Vankar in Bhitasi village near Anklav town was allegedly severely beaten up by members of the upper caste community on July 25 for sitting in the verandah of Bhathiji temple.

The doctor's certificate states that Raman suffered only simple injuries, had no internal injuries and would be fine within a week. But Raman died on Friday.

The four accused - Suresh Lakha Bhoi, Bhikha Chimanraj, Asha Rama Bhoi and Mahendrasinh Jaswantsinh Raj - were arrested but later released on bail.

With tears welling in her eyes, Raman's sister Vimla said, ''We had gone to the fields and sat down in the temple verandah as he was tired. For this, both of us were verbally abused and then Raman was badly beaten up by them (accused). Raman's death is also due to the negligence of the doctor, who told us he would be fine and gave a certificate saying his injuries weren't serious.''

Source: The Times of India, August 10, 2003

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