A 45-year-old Dalit woman died on Monday, a day after she was allegedly thrashed by two men angered by her refusal to convince her son to withdraw an old case registered against them by the police under the Atrocities Act in Bhavnagar city of Gujarat, an officer said.
Gitaben Maru was allegedly brutally thrashed with steel pipes by the duo joined by two accomplices near her house on Sunday evening. She succumbed to her injuries on Monday morning, said Deputy Superintendent of Police RR Singhal.
The accused duo had asked Maru to convince her son to withdraw the case registered against them under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and arrive at a compromise but she refused to agree, he told reporters.
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"We had taken down Maru's complaint on Sunday night before she breathed her last and registered a first information report (FIR) against Shailesh Koli, his friend Rohal Koli, and their two unidentified aides for the attack. We have formed three teams to nab them," Singhal said.
A case has been registered on the charges of murder, assault and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, he said.
Angered by Maru's death, her family members and local Dalit leaders gathered outside Sir Takhtasinhji General Hospital and refused to claim her body until all the four accused involved in the attack were arrested.
As per the FIR, the Koli duo and their associates confronted Maru near her house on Sunday evening and asked her to convince her son Gautam to withdraw the case registered three years ago based on his complaint.
When Maru turned down the offer of compromise, the four men started beating her with steel pipes they were carrying. They also damaged the CCTV cameras of a nearby shop and scared away onlookers, it stated.
They also threatened Maru's husband and daughter, who rushed to save her and forced them to flee. The accused also threatened to break her son's legs if he did not agree to reach a compromise about the previous case.
Before leaving, the accused asked the injured woman to vacate her house and shift elsewhere with her family.
The family members called an ambulance and shifted her to the hospital, where doctors informed the police that she had suffered four fractures on her left arm and left leg and sustained injuries on her back and waist, it stated.
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