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Three men arrested for hurling casteist abuses, threatening to kill Vandana Katariya's family after Olympic loss

Saturday, August 7, 2021 • Tamil Sport News Comments
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Three men have been arrested by the Uttarakhand police for hurling casteist slurs at women's hockey team player Vandana Katariya and her family and also allegedly threatening to kill them after the Indian team lost to Argentina in the women's hockey semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.

The three upper caste men, identified as Sumit Chauhan, Ankurpal and Vijaypal, had apparently burst crackers and hurled casteist abuses at Vandana's family outside her house at Roshnabad village in Haridwar, claiming that the women's hockey team had lost because it had "too many Dalit players." Vandana's brother had reportedly informed TOI, "We were upset after the loss. But the team went down fighting. We were proud of that. Suddenly, right after the match, we heard loud noises. Crackers were being burst outside our house. When we went outside, we saw two men from our village -- we know them and they are upper castes -- dancing in front of our house."

He was further quoted as saying, "They used caste slurs, insulted our family and said the Indian team lost because too many Dalits have made it to the team. They went on, saying that it’s not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out,” the complaint filed by Shekhar said. “Then, they took some of their clothes off and started dancing again. It was a caste-based attack."

Calling out the abusers, Vandana had asked on her social media handle if it was a crime to be Dalit. "I am Dalit. Because the Buddha's enlightenment, Ambedkar's immortality, Kanshiram's mettle and the essence of humaneness run through me. #DalitLivesMatter," Vandana had mentioned in a tweet in Hindi. "I am Dalit. Because I am the courage of the oppressed, hope of the marginalised, a representative of those who stand alone," another tweet read.


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