Haridwar: Casteist slurs, abuses thrown at Olympic star Vandana Katariya’s family

HARIDWAR: Hours after India went down to Argentina in the women’s hockey semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, two upper caste men began circling Vandana Katariya’s home at Roshnabad village in Haridwar. They burst crackers, danced in mock celebration and hurled caste abuses at her family, saying that the team had lost because it had “too many Dalit players,” Vandana’s family told TOI. One of the accused has been detained by police.

“We were upset after the loss. But the team went down fighting. We were proud of that,” Vandana’s brother Shekhar told TOI. “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.”

When they saw Vandana’s family step out, they unleashed a stream of casteist abuses. “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.”

An FIR is yet to be registered on the basis of the complaint at the time of filing the report. “One man whose name came up has been detained,” SHO of Sidcul police station LS Butola told TOI.

He didn’t say who the person was. “We have received a complaint and inquiry is on, after which a case will be filed.”

Source: Times of India

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