A 25-year-old Dalit man was allegedly hacked to death by his dominant-cast in-laws in Ahmedabad’s Varmor village in Gujarat on Monday evening. The incident reportedly took place in front of a team from a women’s helpline present at the situation.
Urmila Zala and Haresh Solanki had been married for six months, against the wishes of Urmila’s family.
According to The Indian Express, Urmila, who belongs to the dominant Darbar community, was “brought back” home to Varmor village in May. She is said to be two months pregnant.
PTI reported that after they got married Urmila and Haresh had been living in Gandhidham in Kutch, Haresh’s hometown.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (SC/ST Cell) PD Manvar said, “Relatives of Urmilaben brought her back, saying she will be sent back to Solanki after a few weeks. But when they refused to send her back for around two months, Solanki decided to visit her parents and convince them to send her back to him.”
On Monday, Solanki had sought the help of ‘Abhayam 181’, a women’s helpline service, and boarded the helpline vehicle for Varmor village.
“While Solanki remained inside the vehicle, officials of the helpline service went to the house of his in-laws and tried to persuade them to send back Urmila,” the DySP said. When Urmila’s relatives came to know that Solanki was accompanying the officials, they rushed out of their house and attacked him with sharp and blunt objects.
“Solanki sustained injuries to his head and other parts of the body in the attack and died,” the police officer said.
He said the ‘Abhayam’ vehicle was damaged in the attack while the officials accompanying it managed to escape.
The Indian Express quoted Bhavika, the counsellor who travelled with Haresh as saying inn her police complaint, “Haresh was sitting in the front seat of the government vehicle along with the driver. After the round of counselling ended with Dashrathsinh and Urmila, around 7 pm, we got out of the house and approached the car. At that moment, eight people along with Dashrathsinh arrived at the spot, forced Haresh to step out of the car and attacked him with swords, knives, sticks and rods. The Abhayam team was also attacked. We immediately called police for help.”
An FIR has been registered against eight persons, including Haresh’s in-laws, under sections 302 (Punishment for murder), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 147 (Punishment for rioting) and under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The accused have fled their house after the incident and efforts are on to nab them, he said.
(With PTI inputs)