Cop Claims Gujarat Dalit Killed for ‘Harassment’, Not Owning Horse
Police said that Pradeep Rathod, 21, had been receiving threats ever since he bought a horse about two months ago.
Police said that Pradeep Rathod, 21, had been receiving threats ever since he bought a horse about two months ago.(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@punjab_spectrum)

Cop Claims Gujarat Dalit Killed for ‘Harassment’, Not Owning Horse

The Gujarat Police on Saturday, 31 March, claimed that the Dalit youth Pradeep Rathod who was killed in Bhavnagar district late Thursday for allegedly keeping a horse, used to harass local girls and the villagers were angry with his activities.

District Superintendent of Police Pravin Mal told reporters that while speaking to villagers, there were complaints about the 21-year-old Rathod. He theorised that Rathod might have been killed for that reason, rather than because he was a Dalit and the higher castes objected to him using and keeping a horse.

Three people were arrested in connection with the case on Saturday, 31 March.

“The preliminary investigations reveal that the boy was not killed just for owning the horse as has been alleged in the FIR lodged. Instead, we have come across a lot of complaints about objectionable behaviour of the boy from various quarters and perhaps some persons may have killed him for that,” said Pravin Mal, adding: “We are trying to ascertain the true reason and nab the culprits.”

Rathod, from Timbi village – an hour's drive from Bhavnagar – was found dead on the streets of the village late on Thursday. His family had said they would not accept the body until the culprits are arrested.

(Photo: ANI)

Also Read : Dalit Man Pushed Into Holi Bonfire in MP by Upper Caste Couple

In his police complaint, his father Kalubhai Rathod alleged that Pradeep had received threats from members of upper castes in the village after buying a horse a couple of months ago. He had alleged that his son was killed for that reason.

When he did not return till late for dinner, we got worried and started looking for him. We found him lying dead on the road leading to our farm. The horse was also lying dead at a little distance. 
Kalubhai Rathod, Pradeep’s father, to ANI

Police said that during their investigations, they had received complaints against the character of the boy. "Some villagers complained that the boy would perform stunts on the horse and on motorcycle whenever he confronted young girls. He also used to enter into fights," Pravin Mal said.

Also Read : Protests Erupt in Alwar as Second Dalit Man Killed in Four Days

Pradeep was helping his father at the farm after passing his matric exams. Official sources told IANS that the state government has deputed senior police officials to get a first-hand report on the situation.

As per the IANS report, Timbi village is home to around 3,000, of which 10 percent are Dalits.

Also Read : No record of any Anandiben promise to Una Dalit victims: Gujarat government

Siddaramaiah’s ‘Shah of Lies’ Jibe

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP for the Dalit youth’s murder. Training his guns on BJP chief Amit Shah, the Karnataka CM tweeted: “Shocking inhumanity towards Dalits in Gujarat! Yet, a certain Gujarati gentlemen (Amit Shah) comes here (Karnataka) with a bag full of Jumlas and promises heaven to Dalits, if they question him, they are branded as Congress goons”.

Kannadigas will not make the mistake of trusting this “#shahoflies”.
Siddaramaiah, CM, Karnataka

(With inputs from ANI and IANS)

(This is a developing story)

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