On Sunday, May 20, Rajkot witnessed another dreadful incident of class related violence. A 40-year-old dalit ragpicker was beaten to death.

Mukesh Vaniya, a native of Parnala village of Surendranagar district, was picking rags along with his wife Jaya and another woman named Savita, around the Radadiya Factory at Shapar while five unidentified men from the factory turned up. They had a heated argument with the three ragpickers, which turned into a fight. The five men started beating Mukesh and the women was driven away from the area.

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Investigation is going on and the exact reason is still not clear.“The exact reason of the altercation has not become clear so far. But the complainant has alleged that it was something related to picking rags around the factory. The complainant and other woman had gone to their home while Mukesh was allegedly held captive by the unidentified accused. The two women then returned back to the spot along with some male members when they found Mukesh lying on the ground. They took him to Rajkot Civil Hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead,” said Sub-Inspector R G Sindhu to the Indian Express.

Based on their complaint an FIR had been lodged under sections 302 (murder), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (assaulting a woman to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act.

The police immediately got into action and the alleged, Jaysukh Radadiya, owner of the factory, and his four friends, Chirag Patel, Divyesh Patel, Jaysukh Radadiya and Tejas Zala got arrested.

Action has been taken against the culprits. “We stand with the family of the victim,” said Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja. He also said that a compensation of Rs. 8.25 lakhs has been announced by the government for Mukesh’s family.

Political leader and activist Jignesh Mevani shared a video of the assault on his twitter.

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