Did the 'attack' that triggered Dalit 'moustache' protest actually happen?
In a fresh turn of events, it has emerged that an 'attack' on a 17-year-old boy in Gujarat earlier this week, one of several that led to a WhatsApp 'moustache' protest, was reportedly staged. The victim had alleged he was attacked in Limbodara village on October 3 with a blade for sporting a moustache. However, a forensic team couldn't find supporting evidence. Know more!
Various assaults on Dalits led to a novel protest. On September 25, Piyush Parmar was allegedly assaulted by Rajputs for sporting a moustache in Limbodara. However, no arrests have been made. On September 29, Krunal Maheria was allegedly beaten up by Bharatsinh Vaghela. Vaghela was subsequently arrested. On October 3, a 17-year-old boy was allegedly stabbed and received seven stitches.
The attacks led to an online campaign with Dalit men uploading photographs sporting a logo of a twirled moustache and a crown with 'Mr. Dalit' written below it. It was run through WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook with hashtags #RightToMoustache and #MrDalit.
A team investigating the 'attack' on the 17-year-old has found no blade at the spot, as claimed by the alleged victim. A local shop owner also denied the reports of a crime. Upon questioning, the minor confessed to having inflicted the wound on himself with the help of friends. However, he claimed the other two attacks on Dalits for sporting a moustache were true.
Gandhinagar DSP (ST/SC cell) RG Bhavsar said that all three boys involved in the slashing and fabricating the story were minors, and so far no case has been registered against them. The Dalit Adhikar Manch, which had demanded the resignation of the Gujarat Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja over the attacks, said they were unaware about the developments. The other cases are being probed.