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Dalit family attacked for visiting temple

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Ground Report | New Delhi: Dalit family attacked; Six members of a Dalit family on their way to a temple were attacked in a village near Gandhidham town in Gujarat’s Kutch district. Around 20 people attacked and beat him up.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Kishore Singh said that the incident happened on October 26 when Govind Vaghela and his family were attacked. An FIR has been registered in the matter. But no one has been arrested yet. Eight teams have been formed to nab the criminals.

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Dalit family attacked

According to the FIR, the attackers were upset that Govind Vaghela and his family had gone to offer prayers at the Ram temple in Ner village on October 20. The complaint said that on October 26, Vaghela was at his shop when he came to know that some people had destroyed his standing crop by sending cattle to his farm.

When the complainant and his uncle Ganesh Vaghela reached the spot, the accused attacked them with pipes, sticks and sharp weapons, police said. According to the FIR, the accused had also allegedly stolen a mobile phone and damaged the complainant’s rickshaw.

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The complainant has also alleged that the accused had attacked her mother Badiben, father Jagbhai, and two other relatives and that the six victims were treated at a general hospital in Bhuj. In many places across India, local regulations prohibit the entry of Dalits into temples in violation of laws under the Constitution.

In September, a Dalit family in Miyapura in Karnataka’s Koppal district was asked to pay a fine of Rs 23,000 after their two-year-old boy entered the local Anjaneya temple.

Crimes against Dalits increased

National Crime Records Bureau data states that a Scheduled Caste (SC) person faced crime every 10 minutes in India in the last year, with a total of 50,291 cases registered in 2020, an increase of the previous year 9.4% higher. Crimes against Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities also increased by 9.3% in the year to a total of 8,272 cases.

The rise in crimes against SCs and STs accentuated the broader trend of decline in crime under some key heads – except for Covid violations – last year, due to the pandemic and the 68-day lockdown that began on March 25, 2020.

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Overall crimes due to criminal cases related to Covid-19 violations increased by 28%, but crime against women decreased by 8.3%, rape cases declined by 12.4% and kidnapping declined by 19.3%.

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“Our experience says that when it comes to atrocities on Dalits, attempts are made to downplay the gravity of the violence and shield the accused persons. It is a serious matter that despite the presence of a pandemic and constitutional and legislative safeguards, crimes against them are on the rise,” said Rahul Singh of the National Dalit Movement for Justice, Hindustan Times reported.

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