Bhavnagar police have arrested four accused in connection to the murder of Dalit RTI activist Amrabhai Boricha by an upper-caste mob. The fact that the activist was murdered while he was under police protection is raising a lot of questions in the case.
There are two FIRs registered in connection to the murder. One FIR is against the 10 accused including Bhailubha Gohil, Shaktisinh Gohil, Jayrajsinh Gohil, Kanaksinh Gohil, Padubha Gohil, Munnabhai Gohil, Manharsinh Jagdishsinh Gohil, Manharsinh Chhotubha Gohil, Harpalsinh Gohil, and Virmadevsinh Jadeja.
They are booked under Section 302 (murder), Section 307 (attempt to murder), Section 452 (house trespass after preparation for causing hurt, assault, or wrongful restraint), Section 506(2) (criminal intimidation), Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt with dangerous weapons or means), Section 294(b) (recital or singing of obscene songs in or near public place), unlawful assembly and rioting of Indian Penal Code and also under SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The second FIR is lodged against the Sub-Inspector P R Solanki of Ghogha police station who has been accused of ignoring the continuous complaints by 50-year old deceased Amrabhai Boricha about apprehensions regarding threat to life. Even after several complaints, he didn’t register an FIR.
It was alleged that several attempts were made by the dominant caste men to kill Amrabhai. They were threatening them since 2013 as Amrabhai Boricha had filed a complaint against three of the ten accused under the SC/ST Act over a dispute after they abused Amrabhai while passing by his house. Since then, the abuse and harassment continued.
On Tuesday, a group of Darbar (Kshatriya) community men passed by Amrabhai house while playing DJ music loudly. Amrabhai and his daughter were standing outside their house. Nirmala told that they returned after a while and started pelting stones on them.
Amrabhai rushed inside the house to save him, but the assailants allegedly barged into the house and attacked them with spears, iron pipes, and swords. Amrabhai died on the spot and his daughter Nirmala was also deeply injured. She was rushed to the Sir Takhtasinhji General Hospital in Bhavnagar city.
Taking note of the continuous threats, Amrabhai was provided with SRP unit protection. But later, it was withdrawn and was replaced with Gram Rakshak Dal jawans.
“I have handed over the investigation to DySP of SC/ST cell and asked him to conduct a detailed probe. We are investigating all the allegations made by the family and activists,” said Bhavnagar IG Ashok Yadav.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, SC/ST Cell, DV Kodiyatar commented, “It’s also a matter of investigation how he was attacked despite having the protection of GRD jawans.”