The Vadodara rural police, on Friday, January 1, detained nine youths in Padra police station for the alleged murder of a Dalit youth from the Navapura area.
According to the police, the deceased and accused knew each other. Eight of the nine accused, in three combined cases, were under the age of 20.
As informed by the police, a tussle broke out between two groups of friends, who gathered for a New Year party at an isolated location in the Dhayraj village in Padra taluka on Thursday night. At the party, one of the accused stabbed the deceased Dalit youth with an ice-carving knife.
As of now, three separate FIR's have been registered at the Padra Police Station. Also, 10 persons, including the deceased Hitesh Vankar, have been booked under 'The Gujarat Prohibition Act of 1949'. The police said that the incident occurred at around 10 pm on Thursday when the group gathered at an isolated place to usher in the new year celebrations.
"One FIR is under the Prohibition Act because the group was consuming alcohol. The deceased has also been booked for the same. There is a murder case against the six accused, who belong to one group and another cross-complaint filed by this group against four others, including the deceased, for assaulting and attempt to murder since they had a fight," said the Deputy Superintendent of Police HS Makadiya, as reported by The Indian Express.
The main accused Abhijit Jha, who allegedly stabbed Vankar, and five other accomplices have been booked in a separate FIR under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for culpable homicide amounting to murder and for rioting. They were also booked under the SC/ST Act of 1989. Four of them have also been booked in a separate FIR for an attempt to murder under section 307 as well as assault, under section 323.
When Jha stabbed Vankar, the former's four friends immediately called the emergency service for an ambulance. However, Vankar was declared dead on his arrival at the SSG hospital. His body was later sent for autopsy.
"Jha was bragging about his arrest in another attempt to murder case registered with the Vadodara city police earlier this year. He was showing off a YouTube video of a local news channel that had reported his old crime, claiming he was a 'don'. The deceased belonged to the Scheduled Caste and the accused is said to have used casteist comments," said Makadiya.
The accused have now been sent to get their COVID-19 tests done, as per protocol. They will later be arrested as soon as the results come in.