The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to the Gujarat government over the incident in which a Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death in a factory compound near Rajkot district's Shapar town by five people, and sought a report on it within four weeks, reported PTI.
The Dalit man was tied to a gate outside a factory and brutally thrashed to death on Sunday, 20 May, by an unidentified group of men who took turns to whip him.
A video, shared by Vadgam MLA and Dalit rights activist Jignesh Mevani, purportedly shows a man, assisted by another, beating the ragpicker, while he begs for mercy.
Seconds later, another man, who comes from inside the factory, is handed the stick, and he continues the merciless assault on the Dalit man.
Mukesh died while being taken to a government hospital in Rajkot, an official at the Shapar-Veraval police station said.
"A man who used to collect garbage was beaten up by some people at the Radadiya Industries compound near Shapar town yesterday. The factory owner accused him and his wife of theft," Rajkot (rural) in-charge superintendent of police Shruti S Mehta told PTI.
The victim's wife lodged a complaint at the Shapar-Veraval police station in Rajkot last evening, accusing the five people of thrashing her husband following which he died, Mehta said.
"We have arrested the five people based on the video that purportedly showed the victim being beaten up. An investigation is underway," she said.
Four of the arrested persons were identified as Chirag Patel, Divyesh Patel, Jaysukh Radadiya and Tejas Zala.
The NHRC in a statement on Tuesday, 22 May, has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of victims.
"Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the chief secretary to the government of Gujarat, calling for a report in the matter within four weeks, along with measures taken for relief to the affected families," the statement said.
"As reported, the deputy superintendent of police of the area has stated that there are wounds on the body of the deceased which could have been caused by blunt objects like sticks. The probe in the matter has been reportedly initiated by police authorities,"
Jaysukh Radadiya is the owner of the factory where the incident allegedly took place while the others are his friends, according to the police.
The incident occurred between 6-9:30 am on Sunday when Mukesh, his wife, and another woman were out picking the waste, reported The Indian Express. According to police, an altercation broke out between the ragpickers and a group of 5 men, who then beat Mukesh and his wife.
The police have registered a murder case against five people under the Indian Penal Code and Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act after the victim's wife lodged a complaint, according to The Indian Express.
The incident brought back memories of the Una incident in which four members of the Dalit community were flogged in broad daylight by upper caste men over allegations of skinning live cattle.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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