A 15-year-old Dalit was mercilessly beaten by up four men of upper caste in Gujarat’s Mehsana district. The teen was brutally thrashed in Becharaji town on Tuesday because he allegedly was wearing a Mojdi (a type of shoe) and called himself a Darbar (a name for an upper caste community in Gujarat) when asked about his caste. The police has now filed a complaint and the cops are on hunt for four people, two of whom are minors.Manjita Vanzara, Deputy SP Mehsana said the boy was picked up on by four young men after they found him at a bus stop. “They saw he had a mojdi on and so began abusing him as to why he wore one since he was not a ‘bapu’ (a term referred to people of upper caste). They then abused him, took him away on a bike, brought him to an isolated place and beat him up,” said Vanzara.She claimed the cops spurred into action the moment they got the video and tracked down the victim urging them to file a complaint. ‘An FIR has been lodged and we will soon nab the accused,’ Vanzara said.The incident that happened on Tuesday came to light after the video shot by the accused went viral. It soon found its way into social media thus spurring the cops into action. In the video, the teen is at one point of time hoisted in the air and dumped hard on the ground. He is also made to apologise by touching the feet of two men. “Haave bapu bolish (will you call yourself a bapu?)” the abusers are heard saying.Acitivist who interacted with the family had a different tale to tell.According to them, Mukesh, a resident of Vithalapur village in Mandal taluka of Ahmedabad had gone to Becharaji to get a haircut. “No one cuts the hair of Dalits in the victim’s village so they have to go to Becharaji that is some 30km for their village. It being a town, people don’t know each other’s caste and getting one’s haircut is not an ordeal,” said Kiritsinh Rathod a Dalit right activist from Navsarjan who met the victim after the video went viral.Rathod said the boy who happened to be well dressed and had a gold chain around his neck attracted the attention of four men, believed to be residents of Endala village, outside the barber shop. They asked him about his caste. “Afraid that if he revealed his caste as Valmiki (considered the lowest among Dalits) the barber may refuse to cut his hair, the teen said he was a Darbar,” said Rathod.Unfortunately for the boy, one of the abusers was a resident of Vithalapur village and soon realised that the boy was lying.“They then bashed him on the road. They kidnapped him, brought him to an isolated place and bashed him up again until he managed to run away. His father had to go to Becharaji to fetch him after the incident,” said Rathod who visited the family and talked to them.He said though the incident happened yesterday, the family had already entered into a compromise. “As the video went viral, the family came under pressure to keep mum. Since 70% of residents are Darbars and only two families are from Valmiki caste in the village, they agreed,” said Rathod.It should also be note that, Mukesh and his family eke out a living by playing dhols in villages and acting as messengers who carry news of death in a village. “This is their traditional occupation and if they go against the Darbars they will no more be able to earn. This is why they decided to keep quiet until we convinced them to file a case,” said Rathod while speaking from Becharaji police station.

violence against Dalits

Gujarat Dalit violence

Dalit teen beaten up

atrocities against Dalit

Becharji town

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In Gujarat’s Mehsana, Dalit teen brutally thrashed for wearing ‘mojdi’