Khetaram Bheel, a 22-year old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of Muslim men over an affair with a Muslim woman, near a police station in Barmer district.
The police has reportedly said that the accused individuals tied up the victim’s his hands and legs, and then started beating him. A report by the Hindustan Times quotes the police stating Bheel’s failed attempt to run away while bleeding, and falling dead in that very attempt. The report also claims that his body was found 500 metres away from the spot where he was allegedly beaten up, perhaps transported there by his killers.
It was a known fact in the village, that Bheel worked at the house of the Muslim girl and had a love affair with her. In fact, Khetaram Bheel’s brother, Gordhan Ram said in his police report that there did exist some minor land disputes, with a man named Mahboo Khan.
On the night of 20th July, Saddam Khan and Hayaat Khan had approached Bheel, asking him to help them out with some work in the farm. As Bheel complied, Ram alleged in the report that Amar Khan, Akbar Khan, Anwar Khan, Raheem Khan, Muheeb Khan, Pathai Khan and Shaukat Khan, started beating up Khetaram Bheel.
Ram also added that two farmers, Gomada Ram and Heera Ram, attempted to save his brother, having heard his loud and painful cries. However, the accused, who were strong enough to overpower them, also attacked the two and later fled from the scene.
Bheel’s brother also said that Hayaat Khan and Saddam Khan went to his house the next day to proudly tell him that the dead body of his brother lay in the farm, having been killed by them.
“Meghwal said that eight of 10 accused have been detained and are being questioned. Bheel’s body was handed over his family members after postmortem”, says the report by Hindustan Times.
There have been numerous occasions where Dalits have been unfairly targeted by certain Muslims. We had reported earlier how a Dalit’s funeral procession led to communal violence in Tamil Nadu. Communal tension had also broken out after a group of Muslims had molestated Dalit woman during a marriage procession. There were also reports of a Dalit woman and a minor being attacked violently and fights breaking out after casteist slurs being used in a patty fight.