Forward in India's international hockey team for the Tokyo Olympics Vandana Katariya spoke to The Indian Express and said that she hope to end the usage of casteist slurs and wished that people back the team.
Despite the hockey team's historic performance in the Olympics, Katariya was subjected to casteist slurs after the team lost to Argentina and could not win the semi-final match.
Two men burst crackers outside Katariya's house in Haridwar hours after the team's loss and hurled casteist slurs at her family. They even mocked them and said that the team did not win because it had 'too many Dalit players'.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Katariya expressed that she had not yet spoken to her family and said,
"Hum log country ke liye khel rahe hai .. aur jo bhi kuch bhi ho raha hai, uske liye kuch bhi na kare, like ‘caste-ing baazi’ jo maine thoda sa suna tha, woh sab na ho." (We all are playing for the country, and whatever is happening, shouldn’t happen, like casteist comments. Whatever little I have heard about it, don’t do that.)
“Sirf hockey ke baare mein soche, aur young girls hain, aur hum log country ke liye he khel rahe hain, toh hum sab ko ek hona chahiye, matlab har cheez ko. (Only think about hockey, there are young girls, we are playing for the country, so we have to be one, I mean in every aspect.)," she added.
Her brother Chandra Shekhar had also spoken to the newspaper and said that the family is in a state of fear and has filed a police complaint.
On Thursday, 5 August, the police arrested Vijaypal, the prime accused in the case. As per a statement from the Haridwar Police, an FIR under IPC Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and SC/ST Act was lodged against three persons Vijay Pal, Ankur Pal and Sumit Chauhan and other unidentified persons at Sidcul police station.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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