Gujarat: Folk Singer Uses Casteist Slurs During Performance, Charged Under SC/ST Act

Folk singer Yogesh Gadhvi allegedly used slurs against the Dalit community at an event attended by several BJP leaders, including state chief C.R. Paatil.

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New Delhi: Folk singer Yogesh Gadhvi was booked on Saturday, May 14, for allegedly using casteist slurs during a public performance in Bhuj in Gujarat’s Kutch district, 

Gadhvi, also known as Yogesh Boxa, was performing at a function inaugurating the Bhimratna Samras Kanya Vidyalaya, a hostel for girl students in Bhuj’s Radhakrishna Nagar, the Indian Express reported.

Ironically, the hostel was constructed by the Gujarat Samras Chhatralay Society, a district-level institutional arrangement which was established in 2016 under the Social Justice and Empowerment Department of the state government and aims at providing facilities to students of all marginalised castes (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backwards Classes and Economically Backwards Classes).

The event was also attended by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president C.R. Paatil and according to a tweet he posted, other BJP leaders in attendance were Gujarat assembly speaker Nimaben Acharya, state general secretary and MP Vinod Chavda, and other MLAs.

The police reportedly said that a first information report (FIR) was registered against the folk singer on the basis of a complaint by local Dalit rights activist Vishal Garva. The FIR was registered under sections of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act).

In his complaint, Garva said that Boxa took the stage at around 4 pm and used “certain casteist slurs” against the Dalit community during his performance. The complaint said that Dalit leaders present at the event immediately went to the stage and reprimanded Boxa for using the slurs, especially “when he has come at the inauguration of a hostel for our community daughters,” the complaint read.