by Muslim Mirror Staff
In Bundar Haveli village of Maharashtra’s Nanded district, a disturbing incident occurred on Thursday, June 1, involving a Dalit youth named Akshay Bhalerao. Akshay was subjected to a brutal assault by a group of individuals who used sticks and daggers as weapons. The victim’s elder brother, Akash, filed a complaint at the Nanded Rural Police Station, leading to the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) regarding the incident.
According to the filed First Information Report (FIR), the incident occurred when Akshay and Akash visited a local grocery store in the evening. At that time, a group of men, who were part of a wedding procession (baraat) for a Maratha bridegroom, confronted Akshay with casteist insults. The men, amidst their celebratory atmosphere of shouting and dancing to DJ music, were also seen wielding swords, sticks, and daggers. These details were mentioned in the complaint, highlighting the alarming and aggressive nature of the attack.
As mentioned in the filed First Information Report (FIR), one of the accused individuals who spotted Akshay and Akash at the grocery store initiated the incident by directing casteist insults towards them. The accused person allegedly exclaimed, “These two must be killed, you dare to celebrate Bhim Jayanti?”
According to the complaint, following the initial verbal confrontation, the group of men proceeded to physically assault Akshay Bhalerao by kicking, punching, and beating him with sticks. Subsequently, one of the assailants repeatedly attacked Akshay with a dagger, while others restrained his hands and legs, resulting in his immediate demise.
Furthermore, the complaint reveals that the attackers also targeted Akash, Akshay’s brother, as well as their mother, who arrived at the scene after learning about the incident. Both Akash and their mother sustained injuries in the assault.
In response to this horrifying incident, the police have taken action by registering a case under various sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Indian Penal Code, and the Arms Act. The sections invoked include those related to offenses such as assault, rioting, murder, attempt to murder, causing hurt, criminal intimidation, and possession of arms.
According to the FIR, Santosh Tidke, Datta Tidke, Krishna Tidke, Nilkanth Tidke, Narayan Tidke, Shivaji Tidke, Mahadu Tidke, Baburao Tidke, and Balaji Mungal have been named as the accused in the case. As a result, the police have taken action and made seven arrests in connection with the incident.
Rahul Pradhan, the president of Yuva Panther, has alleged that Bondhar village has gained a reputation for crimes targeting the Buddhist residents. He further stated that the dominant Maratha community in the village has opposed the Buddhist community’s ability to hold a procession on Ambedkar Jayanti for the past 40-45 years. This assertion highlights the historical opposition and challenges faced by the Buddhist community in the village in exercising their rights to celebrate and commemorate significant events related to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who is highly revered by the Dalit community.
In Bondhar Haveli village, it has been reported that the Scheduled Castes population accounts for more than 30% of the total population.
Rahul Pradhan, who arrived in the village soon after receiving information about the attack, has made allegations that the Maratha community expressed anger over the celebration of Ambedkar Jayanti by the Buddhist community this year. According to Pradhan, Akshay Bhalerao was specifically targeted because he played a prominent role in organizing the Bhim Jayanti (Ambedkar Jayanti) celebrations. These claims suggest that the attack may have been motivated by resentment and animosity towards the Dalit community’s commemoration of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and their assertion of their rights and cultural identity during the festival.