Dalit Man in Gujarat Killed For Becoming Sarpanch

The victim’s community has refused to accept his body until all the accused are arrested.

Representative image. Credit: Lawrence Braun/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Representative image. Credit: Lawrence Braun/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Rajkot, Gujarat: A Dalit sarpanch in Gujarat was allegedly murdered by three persons over an election dispute, after which members of the victim’s community refused to claim his body till all the accused were put behind bars.

Police have so far arrested one of the accused.

Jaysukh Madhad (25), the sarpanch of Varasda village in Amreli district, was attacked late last night by three men, including two brothers, over a dispute arising out of his election, superintendent of police Jagdish Patel told PTI.

“Madhad was killed by the three men who had warned him against contesting the election of sarpanch held last year. We have arrested the main accused, Deep Dhadhal, while the two others, his brother Yuvi Dhadhal and one Madhu Vala, are on the run,” Patel said. 

Over 200 Dalits, including those from Varasda, gathered outside the Amreli Civil Hospital where Madhad’s post-mortem was conducted. They held a protest and refused to accept the body.

“Villagers refused to accept the body saying they will do so only after all the accused are arrested. We have already arrested the main accused and assured the villagers the remaining two will be arrested soon,” the Amreli SP said.

Late last night, Madhad was called to an area near the house of one of the accused. The three then hit him with an iron rod and stabbed him with a sharp object, said Amreli deputy SP (SC/ST Cell) Rajesh Parmar, who is investigating the case.

The victim was rushed to the Amreli Civil Hospital where he died, police said.

“Villagers have alleged Madhad was threatened by the accused, who asked him not to contest the election for the sarpanch’s post reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate. We are investigating the case from various angles,” Parmar said.

An FIR was lodged at Amreli (taluka) police station against the three men, who were booked under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common goal) of IPC, and also the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.