AHMEDABAD: Three Dalits were allegedly thrashed by four men for objecting to their casteist slur in a village near Una town in Gujarat's Gir Somnath district, police said Friday.
It comes over two years after the flogging of four Dalit youths by cow vigilantes in the same district triggered a national outcry.
The latest incident took place at Nandrakh village, about 400km from Ahmedabad, on Thursday.
No arrests have been made yet, the police said.
The complaint was filed by one of the victims, Manu Solanki (27), who has claimed that one of the accused, Ajit Gohil, was arrested for his involvement in the 2016 Una flogging case and is currently out on bail.
The three other accused are Mahendra Gohil, Kishor Gohil and Aniruddh Gohil, all belonging to an Other Backward Class (OBC) community, the police said.
According to the FIR lodged at the Una police station, the incident took place when Manu Solanki and his relative, Bharat Solanki, were returning to Nandrakh on foot.
When they entered the village, the four men, who according to Manu Solanki were drunk, suddenly started verbally abusing him and Bharat Solanki for being Dalits and hurled casteist slur at them.
When they protested, the four hit them with sticks.
One of the accused even attacked Manu Solanki using a knife, which left a wound near his face, they said.
The accused also thrashed another relative of Manu Solanki, Ugabhai Solanki, who rushed to the spot to save the duo, the FIR stated.
When the injured were being taken to a hospital in an ambulance, the accused tried to block its way using their motorcycles, it added.
The three are currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in Junagadh town, the police said.
"The complainant has claimed that one of the accused was earlier arrested in the incident which took place at Mota Samadhiyala. We have not verified his claims yet. We will investigate it. As of now, no one has been arrested," said district Superintendent of Police Rahul Tripathi.
The four accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the SP added.
On July 11, 2016, four Dalit youths were beaten up, allegedly by cow vigilantes, near Mota Samadhiyala village of Junagadh district when they were skinning a dead cow.
The attackers had claimed the victims had killed the cow.
Later, the accused took them to the nearby Una town and once again thrashed them with sticks and iron rods after tying them to a vehicle.
The Dalit men were also paraded half-naked on the road in full view of the public.
The flogging had caused nationwide outrage and triggered protests.