Four Make Dalit Driver Crawl on Road for Harassing Woman in Gujarat; Arrested

Ahmedabad: Four persons have been arrested in Gujarat’s Junagadh district for thrashing a Dalit auto driver and forcing him to crawl on a pubic road for allegedly harassing a woman, police said Wednesday.

The arrested persons include the woman who has accused the 20-year-old driver of harassing her, a police official said.

The video of the October 1 incident which occurred on the outskirts of Junagadh, over 300 kms from here, has gone viral.

In the clip, the accused Mukesh Rathod can purportedly be seen crawling on a road, with two men and some women following him and pushing him.

“The incident took place Monday on the outskirts of Junagadh town and a complaint was lodged yesterday,” said M S Rana, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Junagadh.

Rathod has also lodged a cross complaint claiming that three men and two women beat him up and used casteist slurs, he said.

In her complaint, the woman, also a Dalit, accused Rathod of sexual harassment, following which he was booked under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with an intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC.

“Rathod used to drop some women employees to a factory near Junagadh. One of the women had alleged that he was harassing her and demanding sexual favours from her, following which she stopped going to work,” Rana told PTI.

“When the owners of the factory learned about it, they called Rathod to the premises Monday,” he said.

As per the CCTV footage, Rathod was first beaten up by two women employees and was forced to crawl on road by owners of the factory, he said, adding that another accused filmed the incident on his mobile phone.

The owners have been identified as Shailesh Patel and Tarun Patel.

Shailesh and Tarun have been arrested under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act while their accomplice Shankar and the dalit woman under various sections of the IPC, the officer said.

“We are yet to arrest another woman employee, who is the fifth accused in the case. Since the arrested woman is also a dalit, she will not be charged under SC/ST Act. She is only accused of thrashing Rathod, who is now receiving treatment at a local hospital” said Rana.

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