Pradip Rathod, a Dalit was killed by upper caste men in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat for owning and riding a horse. The 21-year-old Dalit youth’s dead body was found in a farmhouse in Timbi village. The Gujarat police have initiated their hunt to nab the men involved in the murder.
Detailing on the case an official of Umrala police station, Bhavanagar said ”the body of Pradip Rathod (21) was found late on Thursday night from a farmhouse in Timbi village. The horse that he had bought two months ago was also lying dead nearby.’’ The incident happened when Pradip was getting back to his home late evening by riding his horse from the farmhouse. The police have registered a case of murder against Natubha Darbar from Timbi village along with two others.
The family of the victim refused to perform final rites on the body until the police arrest the accused. Kalubhai, the victim’s father told police that the Dalit youth wanted to sell the horse following threats from upper caste men. “They said that a Dalit should not ride a horse as no Dalits in Timbi and surrounding villages own a horse,” shared the victim’s father. Recounting the horrific night of the murder Kalubhai said, “when he did not return till late, we got worried and started looking for him. We found him lying dead on the road leading to our farm. The horse was also lying dead at a little distance.” Pradip’s body has been shifted to Bhavnagar Civil Hospital for post-mortem but the family is adamant to not claim the body unless the accused are booked for the crime.
Timbi village has a majority of Kshatriyas or the upper caste families, while there are just about 40 Dalit families in the village. It is yet another incident in recent times where an innocent life is lost because of the hooliganism of the upper caste men.