A Dalit youth in the temple town of Shirdi in Maharashtra died after he was trampled with a motorbike and crushed with a stone for allegedly having a BR Ambedkar song as his mobile ringtone, according to the police.
The police have arrested four of the eight assailants who were allegedly involved in the brutal assault of the 21-year-old youth in Ahmednagar district last week.
Two assailants were nabbed from Goa, one from Pune and the fourth from Shirdi itself, an official from the Shirdi police station said on Friday.
Those arrested were identified as Vishal Kote, Rupesh Wadekar, S Wadekar and Sunil Jadhav. Four other accused involved in the attack were still absconding, the police said.
On May 16, nursing student Sagar Shejwal, who was in Shirdi to attend a wedding, was in a beer shop with two of his cousins when he got a call on his cellphone.
On hearing the ringtone, "Kara kitihi halla, majboot Bhimacha killa" (Shout all you want, Bhim's fortress is strong), which was in praise of Ambedkar's work for Dalits, eight people sitting nearby asked Shejwal to switch it off, the police said.
An altercation followed and the assailants hit Shejwal with a beer bottle and started kicking and punching him. Then they dragged him out, put him on a motorcycle and took him away to a nearby forest.
His body, later found near Shingve village on the evening of May 16, bore marks of it being crushed under a two wheeler, the police said. They also said the marks indicated he was crushed under a stone.
The assailants belong to the dominant Maratha and OBC communities.
According to the police, Shejwal's mobile was missing but the CCTV footage of the incident in the beer shop was available.
The assailants have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 109 (punishment of abetment) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 (2) (v) and 3 (1) (x) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.