The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday, May 22, issued a notice to Gujarat government over the lynching of a 30-year-old Dalit ragpicker allegedly by five persons on Sunday (May 20) in Shapar industrial area of Rajkot and sought a report on it within four weeks.
In the latest of a long list of horrific incidents that reveal the utter absence of any respect for the rule of law, Mukesh Vaniya, a Dalit ragpicker, was lynched over suspicion of theft from a factory. His wife Jaya and aunt Savita were also roughed up by the accused. Four persons were arrested and a minor boy, aged 17 years, was detained on Monday in connection with the incident after a video of the crime — purportedly showing two persons taking turns to beat Vaniya, with a stick while another person holding him by a rope tied to his waist — went viral on social media.
The NHRC took suo motu cognisance of the media reports. In the notice, the commission observed that, “if true, (the case) raises serious issues of violation of human rights of the victim”. NHRC said in a statement, “it has issued a notice to the chief secretary to the government of Gujarat calling for a report in the matter within four weeks along with measures taken for relief to the affected families”. The deceased’s wife Jaya has also alleged that the accused hurled caste-based abuses before thrashing them when they refused to clean up garbage from near their factory.
Those arrested in the case include Jaysukh Radadiya (39), owner of Radadiya Industries, his two brothers-in-law Chirag Vitthal Vora (28) and Divyesh Kishorebhai Vora (32) and his associate Tejas Kanubhai Zala (29). All have been booked under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (armed with deadly weapon) and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocity) Act. They have been remanded to police custody till May 25. The police has predictably given out a version that gives a protection (of sorts to the accused): the police have said that the accused suspected Vaniya and his family members to be thieves!
Vaniya and his family had migrated from Parnala village in Limbdi taluka of Surendranagar to Rajkot last week in search of employment. He is survived by his wife Jaya and two children — a four-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter.
Commenting on the NHRC notice, chief secretary JN Singh said, “NHRC has instructed us to file action taken report in Shapar case. Accused have been arrested and compensation disbursed as per norms. All immediate required action has been taken.”
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