The police in Gujarat's Banaskantha arrested six people on Saturday for assaulting a Dalit family, including a pregnant woman at Karja village after the members refused to dispose of a cow carcass.
Six persons were arrested under the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, police added.
According to the FIR lodged by Nilesh Ranwasia, the accused asked his family to take away the carcass on Friday night, but the victims said they would dispose it the next morning.
Following this, a group of around 10 people from Darbar community attacked Nilesh’s family including his pregnant wife Sangeeta, the FIR said.
Six persons including Sangeeta and two other women sustained injuries.
While Sangeeta was admitted to Palanpur civil hospital, Nilesh and others who had minor injuries were discharged after first aid, police said.
The FIR stated that “the accused… entered the home (of the victims) and while asking why they were not disposing of the dead cow, uttered casteist remarks, beat them with wooden sticks and assaulted them physically while threatening to kill them”.
Police immediately rushed to the village and within hours six accused were arrested, Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Neeraj Badgujar said.
The arrested persons were identified as Batawarsinh Chauhan (26), Maknusinh Chauhan (21), Yogisinh Chauhan (25), Bavarsinh Chauhan (45), Dilvirsinh Chauhan (23) and Naredrasinh Chauhan (23).
As tension prevailed in the village, police tightened security and intensified patrolling, Badgujar said.
“We lodged the FIR immediately after the victims approached police and arrested the six accused. We have booked the accused under section 315 of the Indian Penal Code (act done with intent to prevent child being born alive) along with other sections and under the Atrocity Act,” said SP Badgujar.
"We have provided protection to the Dalit families in the village and are doing our best to maintain peace and harmony among various communities," he added.
Protests had roiled Gujarat recently after some Dalit youths were beaten up at Una by cow vigilantes. In the aftermath of the incident, the community pledged not to skin dead cows, a traditional occupation of a section of Dalits.
(With PTI inputs)