A teenaged Dalit boy was allegedly beaten to death while playing Holi in Bhiwadi village of Rajasthan’s Alwar district on Friday, officials said. Police said the deceased, identified as Neeraj Jatav and aged around 16, was playing Holi with others when the attack took place.
“The incident took place around 3 pm. Preliminary investigation suggests that two groups were playing Holi and a dispute arose over applying colour. Most of the people were intoxicated when the incident took place,” Bhiwadi Additional SP Pushpendra Singh Solanki said.
“We heard reports that someone wanted to apply colours to others against their wish, which could have started the dispute,” he said. Both sides had three to four people, the officer said. “Preliminary investigation suggests the accused, also in the similar age group, were known to Jatav. They are from the same village and were celebrating Holi together,” Solanki said.
The police said that after Jatav was declared dead on arrival at the Bhiwadi health centre, angry relatives started protesting and also tried to vandalise the facility. Officials did not name the accused — they may be minors. “We have sent separate teams in search of three to four people and a case is being registered against them. The exact cause of death will be ascertained after the post-mortem, although family members have said that Jatav was assaulted with sticks,” said Solanki.