In a shocking incident, a Dalit youth was brutally assaulted and killed in Shirdi (Maharashtra) allegedly over his mobile ringtone, which was a song on Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, reports The Hindu
Sagar Shejwal, who was a nursing student, came to Shirdi to attend a wedding. Vivek Patil, Deputy Superintendent of Police, said:
“Eight youths were sitting at a table at the shop. When Sagar’s mobile rang with the Ambedkar song as its ringtone, the youths told him to switch it off. In a police statement, the cousin has described the song as Tumhi kara re kitihi halla / Mazbut Bhimacha quilla [Shout all you want/Bhim’s fortress is strong]. An altercation ensued and the assailants hit Sagar with a beer bottle and started kicking and punching him.
Then they dragged him out, put him on a motorbike and took him away to a nearby forest. They crushed him under the bike. Sagar’s body was found around 6.30 p.m. in a naked state near Rui village. The cause of death was multiple fractures. The autopsy says Sagar sustained around 25 injuries. He died between 2 and 4 p.m.”
The initial assault was captured on the CCTV cameras at the beer shop. Though the police have arrested four assailants, four others are absconding. The perpetrators were from the dominant Maratha and OBC communities.
Meanwhile, Sagar’s family allege that the officers on duty demanded an air-conditioned vehicle to look for Sagar. Sagar’s cousins, who managed to escape, also alerted the police, but in vain. The complainant, Sagar’s cousin, Satish Gaikwad, said:
“Only our relatives were looking for Sagar. No police vehicle was in sight. The body was also discovered by family members.”