In a horrific incident of honour killing, a 20-year-old Dalit boy was chased and beaten to death in Pune by the family of an upper-caste girl, who was in a relationship with the boy. The incident took place on June 7 in Pune’s Pimple Saudagar area.
The police have arrested four family members and detained two minors and booked all of them for murder and under provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act). The four men (apart from the two detained minors) have been identified as the girl’s father Jagdish Kate, brother Sagar, uncle Kailas and cousin Hemant.
As per the police, the deceased Viraj Vilas Jagtap was on his bike when the six men started chased him in a tempo. The men hit his bike from behind, after which Viraj fell down and started running. While chasing him, one of the accused hit Viraj on the head with a metal rod and another accused threw a rock at him. As they got hold of Viraj, four accused held his hands and legs. The girl’s father Jagdish then used casteist slurs and spat on Viraj as all of them beat him.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the victim’s uncle, Jitesh said, “On the night of the attack, Viraj got a call at around 9:30 pm. He left home on his bike. Sometime later, my other nephew got a call on his mobile phone that Viraj had gotten into a fight at Pimple Saudagar. After rushing to the spot, we found him lying with injuries on his head and other parts of the body. We immediately rushed him to a hospital. While on the way, Viraj told me what had happened. He later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.”
Jitesh further added, “We want police to probe the matter without being biased and ensure that the accused get maximum punishment. Viraj is survived by his mother. He lost his father when he was only one-year-old.”
Inspector Ajay Bhosale, Sangvi police station, told a daily: “The accused have been booked for murder, unlawful assembly and also relevant sections of SC/ST Act. They have alleged that Viraj was stalking and harassing the girl and had been warned before. On the night of the incident, they had an argument, followed by a fight. We will also speak to the girl to know her side of the story.”