GANDHINAGAR: Two persons have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a 13-year-old Dalit boy for wearing a "mojdi", a type of ethnic shoes, the police said today.
The incident occurred on June 13 in Bahucharaji town of Gujarat's Mehsana district and a video of it had gone viral on social media the following day.
In his complaint, the boy, a resident of Vitthalapur village of Ahmedabad district, has stated that he was assaulted at a bus stop by four persons for wearing a "mojdi' after being asked him about his caste.
Director General of Police Shivanand Jha today said that two persons, identified as Cheharsang Thakor and Jaideep Jhala, were arrested from Mehsana yesterday night.
"There were four accused in the offence, out of which two were arrested late last night. Two mobile phones were seized from them which have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory," he told reporters here.
He said efforts were on to nab the two other accused.
Based on the minor's complaint, the four had been charged under section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 365 (kidnapping), 504 (insulting) of the Indian Penal Code, besides relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Information Technology Act, the police said.
Jha said that police protection has been provided at the victim's residence and and a cheque of Rs 50,000, as per the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was given to him.
The remaining Rs 1.5 lakh would handed over to him when the charge sheet is filed, he said.
"A deputy superintendent of police will investigate the matter under the supervision of the Mehsana superintendent of police. After the charge sheet is filed, we will seek a special public prosecutor for the case," he said.
Jha said the police would also investigate if some elements were deliberately uploading videos of such incidents on social media to create enmity among various sections of society.
"Several incidents have been reported in which crimes are committed and their video clips are made viral on social media. We are investigating if there are elements trying to use social media to create enmity between different communities," he said.
He said that as part of an initiative, police officials would visit villages which have seen such caste-related incidents, especially those with a high proportion of people from the SC/ST communities, and conduct meetings to bring about amity.