The Gujarat Crime Investigation Department on Wednesday filed its chargesheet against 34 persons and three minors, including four police personnel, in the Dalit flogging incident at Una town of Gir-Somnath district in the state.
The chargesheet was filed this afternoon before additional chief judicial magistrate of Una taluka court A U Jujaru.
Just before filing the chargesheet, the CID officials arrested four police personnel attached with Una police station on charges of dereliction of duty and helping the accused by forging documents. The apprehended cops were also shown as accused in the chargesheet.
The police personnel include Una police inspector Nirmalsinh Jhala, police sub inspector Narendra Pandey, head constable Kanji Chudasama and woman assistant sub inspector Kanchanben Parmar. Except Pandey, all the three are under suspension.
Some of the key accused, arrested in the initial stages of investigation and against whom chargesheet was filed on Wednesday include Pramodgiri Goswami, Ramesh Jadav, Balwant Goswami, Rakesh Joshi and Nagji Vaniya.
These 34 accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, such as 307 (attempt to murder), 397 (robbery), 365 (kidnapping), 355 (assault to dishonor a person), 342 (wrongful confinement), 147 (rioting), 324 (causing hurt by weapon) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) among others.
They were also charged under section 3(1) (e), (r), (s), (u), 3(2), (5a), 3(1)(d) of Prevention of Atrocities Act. Besides, they were also charged under section 66 A and 66B of the Information and Technology Act for allegedly making and circulating the clip of the incident.
Apart from the 34 chargesheeted in the Una court on Wednesday, the CID also charged three minors, as they were also apprehended during the probe.
CID has filed a separate chargesheet against these minors in the Juvenile Justice Board at Junagadh.
In the chargesheet, CID has alleged that the four cops ‘misused’ their position by not acting against the perpetrators.
It is alleged that though four Dalits were thrashed for almost 4-5 hours by self proclaimed cow vigilantes, the accused cops did nothing to stop the crime.
Also, the police personnel connived with the perpetrators and forged some FIR related documents to help them, the chargesheet said.
“In total, we have arrested 43 persons, including these policemen, who have failed to do their duty and forged some documents to help other accused involved in thrashing the Dalits. Out of the 43, we have today filed chargesheet against 34 accused in the Una court today. The probe is still on,” said Inspector General of CID-Crime S S Trivedi.
Police said the chargesheet against others will be filed at a later stage.
On July 11, seven Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka in Gir-Somnath district were allegedly thrashed by cow vigilantes when they were skinning a dead cow.
Later, four of these Dalit youths were taken to Una town, where they were tied up with a vehicle and allegedly thrashed by the vigilantes.
The matter came to light after a video of flogging allegedly made by the vigilantes went viral on social media.
As the issue created a huge uproar, then Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel handed over the probe to CID-Crime on July 18 and announced that the chargesheet will be submitted within 60 days.
IMAGE: Screengrab from a video being circulated on social media.