Making the whole country proud in Tokyo Olympics 2021 by becoming the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick at Olympics was not enough for some. The player lost her father three months back. But couldn’t attend the funeral. Because she was in the camp to prepare herself to bring a gold medal for India which was her father’s dream.
After Indian women’s hockey team lost against Argentina in the semi finals in Tokyo Olympics 2021, two upper caste men surrounded Kataria’s home in Roshnabad village in Haridwar and hurled casteist slurs to abuse her family.
They started dancing and bursting crackers to mock Vandana Katariya’s family. “India lost because it has too many Dalit players,” the duo said.
“One man whose name came up has been detained. We have received a complaint and inquiry is on, after which a case will be filed,” said SHO of Sidcul police station LS Butola.
“We were upset after the loss. But the team went down fighting. We were proud of that. Suddenly, right after the match, we heard loud noises. Crackers were being burst outside our house. When we went outside, we saw two men from our village — we know them and they are upper castes — dancing in front of our house,” said Vandana’s brother Shekhar.
Shekhar lodged a complaint against the two men. In the complaint, he stated, “They used caste slurs, insulted our family, and said the Indian team lost because too many Dalits have made it to the team. They went on, saying that it’s not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out. Then, they took some of their clothes off and started dancing again…It was a caste-based attack.”