Home » Top Stories » Two arrested for casteist slurs on family of hockey star Vandana | India News – Times of India

Two arrested for casteist slurs on family of hockey star Vandana | India News – Times of India

HARIDWAR: A day after Vandana Katariya‘s family was subjected to casteist slurs, a series of “Dalit Lives Matter” tweets was sent out from a Twitter account purportedly belonging to the hockey star and asked: “Kya Dalit hona gunah hai (is it a crime to be Dalit)?”
Two men who harassed her family were, meanwhile, arrested. One of them, a national-level hockey player, could be suspended. TOI had reported the incident on Thursday.
“I am Dalit. Because the Buddha’s enlightenment, Ambedkar’s immortality, Kanshiram’s mettle and the essence of humaneness run through me. #DalitLivesMatter,” one of the tweets said in Hindi on Thursday. “I am Dalit. Because I am the courage of the oppressed, hope of the marginalised, a representative of those who stand alone. #IamProudDalit #DalitLivesMatter,” said another.
While the account is still unverified – it is yet to get the blue tick – on August 3, Vandana, the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick at the Olympics, had posted it was her official Twitter handle.
TOI had a day earlier reported that men from the dominant caste in her village, Roshnabad, burst crackers, staged a dance and mocked her family after the Indian women’s hockey team’s semi-final loss at the Olympics. The team lost because it had “too many Dalit players,” the men had allegedly said, launching into a stream of casteist abuses.
While the complaint had spoken of two men at the time, Ankur Pal, 20, and Sumit Chauhan (his age wasn’t clear), one more person, Ankur’s brother Vijay Pal, 25, was later identified on Thursday. Vijay is a hockey player himself and has represented Uttarakhand at the national level. A source at Hockey Uttarakhand, the state’s hockey association, told TOI that Vijay could be suspended from representing the state or taking part in trials if he’s found guilty. All three were booked and Vijay and Ankur were arrested. Sumit is yet to be traced.
Vandana’s elder brother Shekhar said, “Members of the dominant caste threatened me inside the police station in the presence of an officer. Cops did nothing. What happened was not just an attack on our family but the whole nation. Police took the case very lightly … We are scared. We want protection.” On Thursday, however, most in Vandana’s village rallied behind her.

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