A 22-year-old Dalit man was beaten up to death in Ramsar police station area of Barmer district, police said on Saturday.
The police suspect Khetaram Bheel, a resident of Bhinde ka Paar village in the district, was killed over a love affair with a Muslim woman.
On getting the information, police reached the spot and recovered the body. Surendra Kumar, the circle officer of Chohtan, said that the accused had tied both his hands and legs before beating up Bheel. His body was found 500 metres away from the spot where he was allegedly beaten up. “Ground situation indicates that before dying, Bheel tried to run away, but he could not do so and died on the way,” Kumar said.
A highly placed source in the police department said that initial investigations revealed that Bheel worked at the house of the Muslim girl and developed a love affair with the girl. “He was caught with the girl several times in the past, but instead of approaching police, the family members had settled the matter through the village panchayat,” the official said.
Rameshwarlal Meghwal, addition superintendent of police in Barmer, said that during the initial investigation the police found that Bheel was in love with a girl and it might be the cause behind the incident. He, however, said that it was a matter of investigation.
Bheel’s brother Gordhan Ram has given a report to the police alleging that they have taken a piece of land on rent from Aasiyat, wife of Mahboo Khan. He said they have been manufacturing bricks on the rented land and for past some time they have some dispute with the landlords.
On Friday night, Saddam Khan and Hayaat Khan arrived there and asked Bheel to accompany them for some agricultural work. When his brother reached at their field, Amar Khan, Akbar Khan, Anwar Khan, Raheem Khan, Muheeb Khan, Pathai Khan and Shaukat Khan, who were already present there, started beating up him, Ram alleged. Two farmers, Gomada Ram and Heera Ram, heard his cries and rushed to save his brother, but the accused also attacked them and later fled from the scene, he added.
The complainant claimed that on Saturday morning Saddam Khan and Hayaat Khan arrived at his house and informed him that they have killed his brother and thrown his body in the farm. “After which we reached the spot and saw the body,” he said.
Meghwal said that eight of 10 accused have been detained and are being questioned. Bheel’s body was handed over his family members after postmortem. Initially, his family members had refused to accept the body, but they accepted it after they were assured of a fair investigation, he said.
It is the third criminal incident in the recent past involving Muslims and Dalits. Earlier, two Dalit girls were found hanging with a Muslim man under Bijrad police station area in Barmer district. It was said that the trio was in love and committed suicide considering opposition of their families. The Dalit girl’s family has alleged that Muslims have killed their daughter.
In June, a 30-year-old Muslim man had allegedly raped a seven-year-old Dalit minor girl. Police have arrested the accused and submitted the charge sheet in the case.