While the Dalit community in Gujarat are on a 10-day "Dalit Pride March" that began on Independence Day, pledging to seek "freedom from atrocities and caste-based discrimination," a bunch of people in Gurgaon thought it would be a great idea to host a "friendly" kabaddi tournament.
As ironic as it sounds, the match that was to promote "inter-caste unity" turned into a violent assault on the participating Dalits by the competing Yadavs half way into it, reports Indian Express.
According to the IE report, when the Dalits started to outperform the Yadavs, they threatened them with guns and hurled derogatory abuses. The Yadavs then assaulted the Dalits.
Over 10 people have been injured in the 'friendly match'.
An FIR has been lodged against eight members of the Yadav community under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (offence by member of unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as sections 25, 54, and 59 of the Arms Act, and sections 3, 33 and 89 of the SC/ST Act.
The competition which was held at the Government Senior Secondary School in the village had participants from many villages and castes, including Dalits, Yadavs, Jats, Gurjars, Banias, and Agrawals.
However, local MCG councillor Sunil Yadav claimed that the fight had nothing to do with caste.
"The argument happened like it does in any game played by youngsters, and it just went a little overboard. Some people may try to give it a caste angle but there is nothing like that," he told Express.
The latest protest march in Gujarat is a reaction to an incident last month in Una when Dalit men were thrashed by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead animal.
Earlier this month, when a Dalit youth consumed poison to protest the flogging of men and died, it fueled the anger of thousands of others who have vowed not to skin or pick up dead animals unless the atrocities by self-styled cow protectors or 'gau rakshaks' stop.
"In model Gujarat, over 15,500 cases of atrocities were lodged and Dalits kicked out from 55 villages. Why is PM Narendra Modi silent on these atrocities. Why has he not come to share our pain," Jignesh Mevani, convener of the Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti that organised a massive rally at the Acher ground in Sabarmati area, told the Times of India.
The Dalits pledged to stop the community's centuries-old vocation of disposing of animal carcasses and manual scavenging, the paper reported.
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