The Aurangabad police (Rural) booked 42 upper-caste residents of a village after a Dalit youth was lynched to death for allegedly having an affair with an upper caste girl.
Aurangabad Superitendent of Police Amitesh Kumar said the police had detailed 77 persons from village Pal, about 400 km east of Mumbai, following the incident on Monday. Of them, 42 were booked for murder and committing atrocity on scheduled castes and tribes.
The killing took place in Marathwada (central Mahara-shtra), which has a history of clashes between the dominant Marathas and Dalits.
Ramdas Tupe, a native of Pal village in Aurnagabad district, was killed by the villagers for allegedly attacking a girl. Tupe had been staying in Aurangabad for the past two years along with his family but had returned to the village for Mahashivratri.
Even though villagers allege that he attacked the girl, local activists say Tupe, who belonged to the Matang community, was in a relationship with the girl and had come to the village to meet her.
This angered the villagers and they attacked Tupe. He was tied to a pole, beaten and allegedly stoned to death. Tupe died before a large police contingent, which had got news of the incident, could reach the spot. “Prima facie the killing seems to be a result of the love affair between the Matang boy and the Maratha girl,” Kumar said.
The stoning to death of a Dalit youth has got the state government worried. The Aurangabad rural police booked the alleged attackers under the stringent Prevention of Atrocities against scheduled castes and tribes act.
Minister of state for home (Rural) Nitin Raut visited the place and announced, “The killing of the Dalit youth seems to be a conspiracy. All the accused in this case will be tried in a fast track court.”