A Dalit student was brutally stabbed on Tuesday evening in Gandhinagar, allegedly by two upper caste boys for signing a police complaint as a witness to the thrashing of his cousin last week for sporting a moustache, his family said. Police are probing the matter.
Class 11 student Digant Maheria, who turned 17 on Monday, was rushed to the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital for treatment with multiple stab wounds and has got 15 stitches on his back. Superintendent of Police Virendrasinh Yadav visited the boy and personally got details of the incident from him and his family.
According to Maheria’s family, he was returning from his PPR Shah High School in Limbodara village, 15 km from Gandhinagar, at 5 p.m. after an examination when he was attacked by unidentified motorcyclists, who had covered half their faces with black scarves.
“He must have gone hardly 200 metres from the school up to a fork, one of the roads leads to our home, when he was accosted by two motorcycle-borne boys,” his uncle Kirit Maheria told IANS.
“They asked him if he had filed a police case (in the attack on his cousin Piyush Parmar, 24, for keeping a moustache), and when he said yes, they pushed him and asked him why.”
The two then attacked Maheria, stabbing him repeatedly before fleeing the spot.
On the earlier incident, Satish Maheria, who stays in the same village, told IANS, that Digant Maheria was with Parmar when three people from the Rajput community came and told the latter that Dalits had no business to sport a moustache like Rajputs. After an argument on the topic, the trio beat him up, he said.
Meanwhile, a police complaint has been lodged about Tuesday’s attack with the Kalol police station, under whose jurisdiction the village falls, in Gandhinagar.
Maheria’s father works as daily wager in agricultural fields.