A Dalit youth from Uttarakhand was beaten to death by upper caste people for eating food while sitting on a chair in front of them at a wedding reception.
The incident took place at Tehri Garhwal district on April 26 when a group of men assaulted 23-year-old Jithendra Das, who was having food at his relative's wedding function. The victim succumbed to his injuries at Coronation hospital in Dehradun on Sunday.
Two days after the incident, the victim's sister, Pooja Das, had filed a police case against six men under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The accused have been identified as Harbir Singh, Hukum Singh, Soban Singh, Gabbar Singh, Gambhir Singh, Gajendra Singh and Kushal Singh.
According to reports, Das was a resident of Baasan village and used to work as a carpenter. His family comprising his mother, elder sister and a younger brother depended on him for their livelihood. His sister has claimed that the accused were constantly threatening her family to withdraw the case.
His relatives said that they had no information about Das's assault and only got to know it when his mother found him lying unconscious the next day. He was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Jithendra's cousin Pritam, who was also present at the wedding, said that he was assaulted at the function as well as on his way to his home. He said that Jithendra was brutally attacked on his head and private parts. "He was so badly beaten that he barely managed to reach his house but couldn't enter it. He slept on the veranda without telling his family members about the incident," reports Hindustan Times.
He also claimed that the "accused are freely moving about in the village and pressurising them to arrive at a compromise", adds the report.
Circle inspector Uttam Singh, who is investigating the case, said that no eyewitness has shown up till now.