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A man belonging to the Dalit community was chased and brutally beaten to death in Pimple Saudagar suburb of Pune over his relationship with an upper-caste woman.
The 20-year-old youth identified as Viraj Vilas Jagtap was a second-year student in the Arts stream at a local college and was working part-time in the transport business.
According to the police, the woman's family had accused the youth of stalking and harassing her. As per the FIR filed the incident occurred on the night of June 7.
The victim, while still on his bike was chased by six persons in a tempo. They hit his bike from behind after which he fell down and started running. After chasing him further, one of the accused hit him on the head with a heavy metal rod and another threw a rock at him.
Four of the accused held his hands and legs while one used casteist slurs against him and spat on him for being in a relationship with his daughter. Viraj later died.
Police identified the four arrested persons as the girl's father, Jagdish Kate, brother Sagar, uncle Kailas and cousin Hemant. Two minors from the family have also been detained.
In a report to The Indian Express, Viraj's uncle, Jitesh Jagtap said "On the night of the attack, Viraj got a call between 9 pm and 9.30 pm. He left home on his bike. Sometime later, my other nephew got a call on his mobile phone that Viraj had been in a fight in Pimple Saudagar. We went to the spot and found him lying there with injuries on the head and other parts of the body. He was still conscious, so we rushed him to a hospital and, in the meantime, Viraj told me what had happened."
Jitesh further requested the police to carry out the investigation in an unbiased manner and to ensure that the perpetrators get the maximum punishment. Viraj is survived by his lone mother.
Inspector Ajay Bhosale of the Sangvi police station noted that the victim had been accused of harassing the girl and had been warned before. However, the woman concerned is yet to be interrogated by the police.
This incident occurs a day after a 17-year-old Dalit boy was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha on June 6 a week after he had an altercation with the upper caste village youth over praying at a temple.
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