NEW DELHI: A 40-year-old Dalit ragpicker was allegedly beaten to death by five people in a factory compound at Shapar village in Gujarat’s Rajkot district on Sunday morning, over the issue of collecting scraps in the area.
According to police, the incident happened between 6 and 9.30 am on Sunday when Mukesh Vaniya, his wife Jayaben and an acquaintance Savita were picking rags around Radadiya Factory at Shapar.
A verbal altercation ensued between the trio and the five accused, including the factory owner, over scraps lying outside the factory, which escalated into a physical attack.
Vaniya and his companions were roughed up by the accused after which the women were thrown outside the compound wall while Vaniya was held captive.
“The exact reason of the altercation has not become clear so far. But the complainant has alleged that it was something related to picking scraps around the factory. The two women returned after some time and spotted Mukesh lying on the ground.
They took him to Rajkot Civil Hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead,” said Sub-Inspector R G Sindhu. Based on a complaint filed by Jayaben, all five accused — Jaysukh Radadiya, owner of the factory, and his four friends, Chirag Patel, Divyesh Patel, Jaysukh Radadiya and Tejas Zala, were arrested, police said.
“We stand with the family of the victim,” Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said and announced a compensation of RS 8.25 lakh for the kin of the victim.
An FIR has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assaulting a woman to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and the SC/ ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act, the minister added. A video of the incident — purportedly showing two people taking turns to beat Vaniya with a stick while another person holds him by a rope tied to his waist — was circulated widely on social media.