Dalit Man, Who Objected to Hanuman Chalisa in Schools, Killed After Brawl Over Ambedkar Poster

In another case of caste violence in Rajasthan, a 21-year-old Dalit man succumbed to injuries sustained in an assault by a group of men belonging to an OBC community.

According to a report by The Indian Express, Vinod Bamnia, who was a member of Bhim Army, was assaulted on June 5 near his home in Kikraliya village of Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district, and died in a hospital in Sriganganagar two days later.

The FIR states that the accused allegedly shouted casteist slurs during the assault, and said: “Aaj tumhe tumhara Ambedkarvad yaad dilvayenge. The Bhim Army staged a protest against “police inaction” in the case.

According to the Indian Express report, Bamnia had registered complaints twice earlier this year on different issues — one in April on receiving threat calls after he objected to copies of the Hanuman Chalisa being distributed at a school, and another naming several village residents for allegedly attacking him and his family for objecting to a road block.

The initial FIR in the assault was registered by police under 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.

After Vinod’s death, the charge of attempt to murder was changed to murder under IPC section 302. Hanumangarh SP Preeti Jain said “it is wrong to say there was police inaction as the arrests were made promptly after the incident”.

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