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National

MEHSANA DALIT YOUTH FORCED TO SHAVE OFF MOUSTACHE, THEN THRASHED-

December 08, 2019 06:50 AM

COURTESY MIRROR DEC 8 
Ahmedabad Mirror Bureau
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In yet another incident of caste violence in the State, a Dalit youth in Kothasana village of Mehsana district had to cut off his moustache after Darbar community members allegedly forced him to do so after seeing him twirl his moustache in a TikTok video. To avoid trouble, 20-year-old Sanjay Parmar voluntarily shaved off his tache.

However, the other youths still allegedly hurled casteists slurs and thrashed him so badly that he landed in the hospital. The accused alleged made Sanjay kneel down and apologise for keeping the moustache.


A police complaint has been filed under various sections of the IPC and SC/ST Atrocity Act.

The police identified the accused as Sanjaysinh Chauhan, Santramsinh Chauhan, Rajdipsinh Chauhan, Jayendrasinh Chauhan, Rajpalsinh Chauhan and Swarajsinh Chauhan and one other unknown person. They all have fled the village and police have started a manhunt for the accused.

Talking to Mirror, Mehsana SP Manish Singh, “The youth was asked to cut off his moustache and he cut it off himself to avoid conflict.”

The FIR stated, “Sanjay was at home when Sanjaysinh and Rajdipsinh called him out. They took him on a motorcycle to the sub-station where the other accused were also present. They asked him if he wanted to become a ‘bapu’ (term used for members of Kshatriya community). They told Sanjay that he had no right to sport a moustache and upload such videos. Issued death threats, Sanjay went home and shaved his face.”

Inspector I R Desai of Satlasana Police Station said, “We have registered a complaint against the accused and sent it to the Deputy Superintendent of Police so that the matter can be investigated. The accused have fled the village and we have started a hunt for them.”

Talking to Mirror, Sanjay’s father Ranchod Parmar said, “My son has studied till Class X. He works as a labourer. He put this video of twirling his moustache to ‘Rona Toh Farvana’ song on Tik Tok. A while later, the accused called him and asked him to remove his moustache. I met them and assured them that Sanjay will shave his moustache as we did not want any sort of trouble. My son did as promised but they still called him and beat him up badly. Later, they posted online how they made a Dalit remove his moustache and this went viral. We felt threatened by this and were driven to file a complaint.”

Social Justice Committee Chairman (Mehsana) Diva Parmar, who is also the complainant’s aunty, said, “My nephew had a moustache. The accused called him in the morning and told him that he cannot sport a moustache. They abused our community. My nephew removed his moustache as the accused ordered. Despite this, they beat him up so badly that he is currently admitted in the hospital. He is scared for his life.”

The caste divide in Gujarat is not new. Gujarat is the only State in the country which had witnessed bloody anti-reservation riots in 1981 targeting Dalit bodies and properties from village to village. Dalits and tribals have witnessed many years of non-implementation of reservation norms especially in the public-sector jobs and yet they face the social ire for being beneficiaries of reservations.

Dalit activist Subodh Parmar said, “More and more such incidents are taking place now. The government is not spreading awareness to prevent such incidents. For example, four Dalits were abused and beaten with sticks and iron rods by a group of Thakors following an altercation over spilled food at a roadside eatery in Sardarnagar last month. The accused are out on bail. Every time such an incident occurs, the government gives lame excuses.”

Just last February, a Dalit youth’s moustache was shaved off allegedly by eight members of the Thakor community at Goral village of Idar taluka in Sabarkantha district. In October 2017, two Dalit youths were allegedly beaten for sporting moustaches at Limbodara village in Gandhinagar district. The attacks led to protests across the State. Dalit men uploaded photographs of them sporting moustaches on social media using hashtags like #RightTo-Moustache etc

 
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