Yet again, a Dalit youth from Dholka in Ahmeabad district was allegedly attacked by members of an upper caste community late on Tuesday evening. His offence ? He dared used the suffix ‘Sinh’ with his name, something members of the Kshatriya community considered to be solely their prerogative. The word ‘Sinh’ means lion in Gujarati, cognate with the name ‘Singh’ used in other parts of the country. An FIR was lodged at Dholka town police station under various sections of the IPC and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
According to the FIR, the Dalit youth, identified as Maulik Jadhav, had suffixed ‘sinh’ to his first name on a social media account on May 10. Very soon thereafter, he soon started getting threats from members of the Darbar (Kshatriya) community. Jadhav is a member of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM), the outfit led by Vadgam MLA and Dalit MLA Jignesh Mevani.
“On Tuesday evening, when the complainant (Jadhav) went to a petrol pump, a white car was following him. It suddenly overtook him and blocked his way. Six men got out, of whom two were armed with guns while the others had pipes, sticks and bladed weapons.They started thrashing him, hurling casteist slurs and abusing him for using ‘sinh’ in his name.
One accused, identified as Sahdevsinh, caught him by the collar and slapped him.The complainant managed to escape from the spot and took shelter at Sonarkui police station in Dholka,” says the FIR signed by inspector L B Tadvi of Dholka town.
Jadhav told TOI, “Using ‘sinh’ is not the prerogative of any community. My brothers and I decided to use ‘sinh’ with our name after which, I started getting abusive calls and threats from members of the Darbar community.”