A 21-year-old Dalit man in Rajasthan died due to injuries incurred during an assault by a group of men from the OBC community, two weeks after the accused allegedly tore posters of Dr BR Ambedkar pasted outside his home, reported The Indian Express quoting police and family.
Vinod Bamnia, who was a member of the Bhim Army, suffered injuries from the assault on 5 June near his home in Kikraliya village of Rajasthan's Hanuman Garh's district but succumbed two days later in a hospital in Sriganganagar. Bamnia's cousin, Mukesh, who filed an FIR and is an eyewitness in the case, has told The Indian Express that the assault was "an act of revenge."
Two out of the four accused – Anil Sihag and Rakesh Sihag – named by Bamnia's family in the FIR, have been arrested, as per the report by The Indian Express.
The FIR states that the accused allegedly shouted casteist slurs during the assault, and said: “Aaj tumhe tumhara Ambedkarvad yaad dilvayenge (We will make you remember your Ambedkarite ideology today.”
The Bhim Army is staging a protest over the matter.
As per Mukesh, “Recently, some men, including Anil Sihag and Rakesh Sihag, who also live in our village, had torn the banners of Babasaheb Ambedkar, which were put up outside our home since Ambedkar Jayanti on 14 April. After we identified them, we complained to their families. The matter was sorted with the mediation of the Panchayat, and their family members apologised on their behalf."
“But the actual culprits wanted to take revenge. On 5 June, Vinod and I were on our way to our fields in the village when we were attacked by Rakesh, Anil, and a few others, who were waiting for us with sticks. I managed to escape with minor injuries. But they beat up Vinod with hockey sticks about 20-30 times. He was taken to Rawatsar and referred to hospitals in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar where he subsequently succumbed to his injuries,” said Mukesh to The Indian Express.
The attempt to murder charge was added to the FIR after Bamnia passed away. The initial FIR registered by police, included IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 143 (punishment for unlawful Assembly), and Sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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