In yet another caste-based violence, a Dalit youth in Ahmedabad was allegedly assaulted by some men from his village because they did not like the idea of a Dalit sporting a moustache. Victim Suresh Vaghela, 22, lives in Karakthal village and works in a private company.
According to him, on Sunday night, while he was asleep, he received a call from a villager named Dhamabhai Thakor asking him to come out of the house. He also questioned him about the moustache, threatening to beat him up if he did not shave it off.
Around 45 minutes later, Thakor and ten others barged into Vaghela’s house with lathis. They allegedly hurled casteist abuses at Vaghela, taunted him for sporting the moustache, and issued death threats. According to the FIR, Vaghela’s father opened the door and was about to go out when Vaghela rushed out and found Dhamabhai outside his house.
Vaghela tried talking to him, but they (accused) abused him with casteist slurs and attacked him. When other family members intervened to attempt to save Vaghela, the accused thrashed them too. The cries and screams of the family members brought other villagers to the spot, and the accused fled.Viramgam cops have detained three persons and are investigating the case.
Vaghela said, “I have been sporting a moustache for quite some time now. I had been living elsewhere since the place was closer to my office. I returned to my village last December. The accused would often stare at me angrily and taunt me when I would pass by. I ignored everything, but when they assaulted my family, I decided to call the cops.”
For a Dalit in this country, growing a moustache is enough to be brutally beaten up. In 2017, similar incidents of Dalits being thrashed for sporting moustache lead to state-wide protests with Dalits flaunting their moustache on social media.