"We went to the spot and found him lying there"
Police have arrested four people for the violent murder of an Indian Dalit man in Pune, Maharashtra.
The 20-year-old victim was allegedly chased and beaten to death over an intercaste relationship with a woman who belonged to an “upper caste”.
It was reported that the incident took place on the night of June 7, 2020.
Police identified the victim as Viraj Jagtap.
Four members of the woman’s family have been arrested following a case lodged by Viraj’s uncle Jitesh Jagtap. They were identified as the father Jagdish, brother Sagar, uncle Kailas and cousin Hemant. Two minors within the family were also arrested.
The girl’s family members claimed that Viraj had been stalking and harassing the woman and that the fight took place over the “trouble he was causing to the girl”.
The victim’s family is from the Dalit community.
Viraj was a second-year Arts student at a local college and was working part-time for a transport company.
According to the FIR, Viraj had been on his bike when he was chased by six people. They hit his bike, causing him to fall.
The Indian Dalit man ran on foot, however, one of the attackers hit him over the head with a metal rod while another threw a rock at him.
Four of the attackers held him down while Jagdish used casteist slurs and spat at Viraj for being in a relationship with his daughter.
Jitesh explained: “On the night of the attack, Viraj got a call between 9 pm and 9.30 pm. He left home on his bike.
“Sometime later, my other nephew got a call on his mobile phone that Viraj had been in a fight in Pimple Saudagar.
“We went to the spot and found him lying there with injuries on the head and other parts of the body. He was still conscious, so we rushed him to a hospital and, in the meantime, Viraj told me what had happened.”
Jitesh went on to say that Viraj later succumbed to his injuries.
“We want police to investigate the matter without being biased and ensure that the accused get maximum punishment.”
“Viraj is survived by his mother. He lost his father when he was only one year old.”
Inspector Ajay Bhosale stated:
“The accused have been booked for murder, unlawful assembly and also under relevant sections of SC/ST Act.
“They have alleged that Viraj was stalking and harassing the girl and had been warned before. On the night of the incident, they had an argument followed by a fight.
“We will also speak to the girl to know her side of things.”
Police Commissioner Sandeep Bishnoi said that the investigation is ongoing.
The six suspects have been booked for murder under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.